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Five Terror Suspects Killed In Cambrils; Two Arrested In Barcelona Van Attack; Eiffel Tower Goes Dark To Honor Terror Victims; Explosion In Alcanar Connected To Barcelona Attack; Trump Condemns Terror Attack In Barcelona; Trump Faces Backlash For Charlottesville Remarks; Tel Aviv City Hall Lit Up To Honor Barcelona Victims; Spain Targeted in 2 Terror Attacks in Less than 24 Hours; Travel Safety Tips. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired August 18, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Becky Anderson. As the sun rises in Barcelona, covering the ISIS-inspired terror attack which claimed 13 lives and left 100 others injured.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Vause in Los Angeles in here in the United States. President Donald Trump has responded to the terror attack by spreading a debunked rumor on Twitter.
ANDERSON: Well, we begin with breaking news of a second possible terror attack in Spain. We got a new video from the coastal of Cambrils where five suspected terrorists were killed by police. This video was taken inside a night club when something happened.
ANDERSON: That was the clear sound of what seems to be gunfire. Still, no official words of exactly what went on there. Another video appears to show what happened next, and we must warn you the video is graphic. You see a couple of what seemed to be dead bodies at the scene. Police say, four terror suspects were killed, and the fifth died later of his wounds.
Well, this came just hours after the initial terror attack in Barcelona, Thursday afternoon, where a van mowed down pedestrians on the city, popular, Las Ramblas Avenue. I should warn you that these images are the aftermath in Barcelona. A gruesome.
ANDERSON: ISIS says, the people behind the van attack were soldiers of the Islamic State. We have the look at the area where the attack happened, again it's called Las Ramblas. The street is in the heart of the city filled cafes and shops where tourist, some Barcelona residents hang out and talking about the area just 500 yards behind the -- yes, this is the Placa Catalunya. This is the top of the Las Ramblas. The van entered the pedestrian zone at this end and then sped down the concourse, creating panic and confusion. One person inside a store recorded the chaos as everyone ran for safety. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(VIDEO SHOWING PANIC AND PEOPLE SHOUTING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Justin Ritcus, is the from the U.S. state of Florida and is visiting Barcelona with his family. He witnessed the attack. He joins us now on the phone to tell us exactly what he saw. Justin, frightening scenes; I know that you're safe now, just explain where you were and what happened.
JUSTIN RITCUS, BARCELONA TERROR ATTACK SURVIVOR (through telephone): Good morning, Becky. Thanks for having me. Well, I was actually at the Boqueria Market, just one of the biggest markets on the entire street of Las Ramblas. I was about 20-feet away from where the car drove through the middle of the street. The second car drove by, driving people over in the chaos. People started flowing in, in masses of hundreds, but (INAUDIBLE) walked towards the attacker.
We're a family of six and somehow, we managed to stay together and make it to a cafe that has locked down. Well, we actually lost my youngest brother and I got him back and I found him -- my brother. Somehow, we all managed to be together at the cafe and waited there for about two hours with the Barcelona police patrolling outside and checking out what was going on -- He did a great job with that. And yes, we're just really scared for our life.
ANDERSON: That sounds absolutely terrifying. The idea that you were split up at one point, I'm sure many of our viewers just won't be able to, you know, with the very notion of that. How did the emergency services respond?
RITCUS: Well, when we were running outside of the market, once we made it to almost the street, I would say, police officers were towards the scene. We actually saw, as we were running, a manager of the store -- of a cafe, Scriba Cafe, took his hand out, he yelled in Spanish, "Come here, come here." My mom is the only Spanish people in our entire family. I mean, I just felt lost; not only running for my life, just being in the country where most of the people don't speak the language I speak, I just felt very concerned about that. Just somehow, we managed to stay together. But the police were on top of what was going on. I saw a lot of police officers and SWAT teams, they were all there to protect the people.
[01:05:41] ANDERSON: This must've felt like it lasted a lifetime, how long was this entire episode now you reflect on it?
RITCUS: I would say the entire thing would be -- from start to finish -- we left the cafe, we were in there for a little over two hours. We are at lunch when the van attack where we were, and everybody was running -- that whole idea took about 20 minutes on its own. And then, just going around, the kind of scene, what was going on. I mean, we got a (INAUDIBLE) of our building. I just looked to my right, I see body bags on the floor, next to my 14-year-old little brother. He was really determined to have to see and how he found us. ANDERSON: How is the family coping?
RITCUS: Well, we actually are on our way to the airport now. We're headed back to the United States. And we're -- we were on a long -- we started our trip for about two weeks ago; we went to Prague and we finished up back here in Barcelona. And before all this, I mean, there's a stronger thing that happened out here and that's we're all safe together.
ANDERSON: Let me just take you back to the actual scene. What did you actually see of those who one assumes was involved? The driver of the van, we know is still the run for example; did you witness the actual characters involved in this assault?
RITCUS: OK. Well, when we were in our cafe, they used the alley way in which our cafe was at (INAUDIBLE). That was one of the points of entry, I guess, looking for one of the terrorist. So, we actually -- I didn't see it my own eyes the actual terrorizer, but I saw countless of SWAT team members with full assault rifles entering in, yelling past to each other of their team, and just getting in there, and so -- watched the entry points for them to take down. This guy was right in front of where I was.
ANDERSON: Look, we'll let you get on to the airport and I'm so pleased that the family and that you are together, and that you are clearly really terrified about what has happened, but we very much appreciate you speaking to us today. Thank you.
RITCUS: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Bobby Chacon is a retired Special Agent with the FBI, he joins us now from Los Angeles with his expertise into what is this unfolding situation. And Bobby, we've just been listening a witness described what were these terrifying events that have unfolded as a terror attack happened just behind me here yesterday afternoon. It is now 7:00 in the morning here, and what we do know is over the last couple of hours, a second attack, it seems, has unfolded about 75 miles down the road to the Southwest of Barcelona. Just give me your sense of what you believe is going on here; what you've learned and how you think the emergency services are responding?
BOBBY CHACON, RETIRED SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: Well, I think they responded very well, considering the circumstances. I mean, this an area where it's heavily traveled with tourist and locals alike; it's a difficult area to have a complete tight control over this. From the early outset, this looked like a planned attack to me, a coordinated attack. This wasn't a suicide mission, so these guys got out and tried to flee.
One did, actually, got away and you're -- the witness had mentioned that the market that he was in. Well, that market -- there's a big entrance on Las Ramblas but those, that particular market has exits out the back that probably locals know about, and it leads into a predominantly Muslim neighborhood right behind that market that he described. So, that probably, in my mind, where the driver got a way through. So, he might've run right behind that witness. And so, I think that it looks like a planned, coordinated, multi-
attack scenario. I think that the explosion at the apartment last night, or the night before may have set things in motion because maybe there -- the plan to use explosives was then negated by the explosion. And so, they had to carry out the plan any way they could, and so you saw them use the man as the weapon of choice because they no longer had the explosives.
[01:10:18] Now, the attack at the night club, we'll have to see how they're tying that to it. We don't know yet, there's not a lot of evidence coming out yet or statements from the police other than that there were five terrorists. No civilians killed in that, in that incident, so that kind of makes me think that maybe those were people that they had an eye on, and they intercepted them before they were going to do what they planned to do. And maybe, that's the information that the gleaned earlier in the day from part of that other investigation. That's all speculation on my part, but that's where my mind goes when I see this kind of sequence of events.
ANDERSON: Let's go for you -- just a number of the, all the sort of the what we know and what we don't know at a point. Because as we've been going through the night, there's been a lot of knowns and a lot of unknowns; not least what happened in Cambrils, 75 miles to the Southwest of Barcelona. Let's start though, with what happened here, and the van driver who abandoned this vehicle -- he fled and he's still on the run. What will emergency services be doing at this point?
CHACON: Well, they've got two people in custody that they're probably questioning. They've got information from the apartments and from the van, they hopefully will have to gain some forensics from the vans and from the apartments and the interrogation of the two in custody. So, I think there's a lot that they're doing, a lot that they have on this guy, and they will release his name and his identity it's advantageous to the investigation.
If they don't have now, I would believe that they probably have it. And for some reason, and if it's the investigation ought to release it yet. So, I think that -- I think they probably have that guy identified. I think that they're probably looking for him at all the logical places. It wouldn't surprise me if today in Barcelona, we have some more very breaking news on this story.
ANDERSON: Let's be clear that since July of last year, on a beach in Nice, where a lorry mowed into people, enjoying what was the 14th of July celebration. This is sadly the ninth such attack in Europe over the past year using, what as you've described as a, you know, a van, a small van, as the weapon of choice by ISIS or ISIS-inspired terror. What can people do, as people get back on the streets of this city today? It is on the move again; it has to be said. What would your advice to people be?
CHACON: Well, you know, if we change our way of life to a great extent, the terrorist win. I would actually start by addressing the municipalities and the authorities in some of these areas where you have large public gatherings, or you set up your streets in such the way that it's going to attract crowds and tourist. I would advise and I would encourage to make it much more difficult, to harden those potential targets, and make it much more difficult to drive vehicles downs there. It may be time to start shutting off some of these streets to vehicle traffic. It may be time to put barricades temporarily in place, maybe on nights when you want more tourists than other night.
And so, it may be temporary closings, it may call for more permanent closings in some of these places. I think each city has to address its own situation in those own locations. But I think the time to start hardening some of these targets and protecting them from this type of attack, because like you said, after Nice, ISIS did come out and some of its propaganda, and actually encourage this very type of attack. It said to go and use vehicles. So, I think that these municipalities have to respond to that. And the government's job to protect its people is going to include looking at some of these locations and putting up temporary barriers in place at certain times or maybe permanently closing some of these streets off -- some of the vehicular traffic.
ANDERSON: We thank you for your words and your thoughts this morning. CNN Military Analyst, Lt. Col. Rick Francona, also joining us now. He's in Port Orford in Oregon. We know that an affiliate of ISIS says, the people behind this van attack were, and I quote, "soldiers of the Islamic State," which means what?
LT COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (via Skype): Well, you know, ISIS says, a history of taking credit for any of these kinds of attacks, whether they were responsible or not. More often than not, we find out that these are ISIS-inspired attacks, not so much, you know, ISIS-directed attacks. And when they use that phrasing in here: "soldiers of the Islamic State," without any further identification.
[01:15:13] In the past when they were ISIS-controlled, we saw actually names mentioned. In this all, we saw was the generic reference to soldiers. So, I would read into that that is probably ISIS-inspired, so it doesn't surprise me that we saw this. And if you read the actual Arabic text, it would indicate that there more than two perpetrators involved.
ANDERSON: Are you surprized to hear of what could be, could be -- I mean, it's not confirmed yet, but a concerted by a what could be another cell just 75 miles down the road from here. That would be -- that would be a first, wouldn't it, within the period of time that this happened?
FRANCONA: Well, we saw that in France. You know, different cells operating in different locations. This looks pretty far away, so we'll if it's actually, you know, tied to this same attack. It would not surprise me -- we see ISIS trying to expand their operations out of Iraq and Syria; they know that that's a losing proposition there. They're about to lose their state territory.
And so, we see them reverting to more of an al-Qaeda model where they're operating in cells, in different countries. And we see them moving into Europe, you know, as well as West Africa, and other, you know, in Southeast Asia. So, I think we're going to see a concerted effort on ISIS to spread their tentacles out as they lose ground in Iraq and Syria.
ANDERSON: What we do know is that there have been numerous arrests for what is described here as ISIS facilitation cells, that has been over at some months now. So, this is not a country that is unfamiliar with the potential for terror. Although, this is, of course, the first (INAUDIBLE) by ISIS 2004 when so many people lost their lives in Madrid -- the train attack, of course, al-Qaeda-inspired back then. As you consider what we know today, do you consider the arrest that we were made of a Moroccan, just the north of this yesterday, and a man of Spanish identity in the Spanish enclave Melilla in Morocco? What does this all tell you?
FRANCONA: Well, it shows me that, you know, the ISIS is trying to move into different areas. I must admit, I was a little surprised that Spain was getting this much attention from ISIS. I know that, you know, there's a lot of history with the, you know, the Islamic conquest of, you know, the 14th -- you know, back, you know, 1400 years ago when Andalusia was part of the Islamic empire, and they would love to have this back. But you know, Spain has not really been a major contributor to the anti-ISIS coalition; they are members of it and they still just a few troops in Afghanistan, but they're not really being targeted -- some of the other nations of the coalition.
If you read the tasking or the call, the invitation that went out was to attack national of the international coalition. And the -- ISIS referenced that again today in that claim and says they were responding to this call to attack members of the international coalition. So, you know, they are going after just about every country they can where they have an opportunity, where they've got infrastructure, they're going to use it. So, I think the Spanish have a pretty good handle on this -- you see how fast they're moving. And as the previous guest said, I think we're going to see more breaking news today.
[01:19:01] ANDERSON: Rick, good to have you on. Thank you for that. Well, in Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark to play tribute to the victims of the Barcelona terror rampage. After the break, much more in the attack that killed 13 people and wounded dozens of others just behind me here. As the sun has come up, the cordons are down out there; a sign of defiance as it were. And I've seen in London, and in Paris, in Belgium, the city on the move again. It will get over this, but it's very, very, very, dark. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Spanish police say they foiled a suspected terror attack in the coastal town of Cambrils. Officers killed four suspects in that operation, the fifth suspect was in custody but died from his injuries four hours earlier. Here in Barcelona just over my shoulder, an attack that was not foiled, 13 people are dead and more 100 others are wounded after a van rammed into a busy tourist street. Witnesses reported bodies, flying into the air and a tidal wave of fleeing civilians. Two suspects are in custody, but the driver is still on the run. And even earlier, a third incident down the coast in Alcanar, a huge
explosion leveled a house there killing one. Police have linked that to the van attack in Barcelona and they are working under the idea that Cambrils is also connected. With this all happening in the span of 24 hours, Spanish authorities have a complex investigation ahead. We'll stick on that for you. For the time being, let's hand, in fact, to John Vause, who is in Los Angeles. John.
VAUSE: Becky, thank you. A complex investigation of one which sounds all too familiar. Well, when news broke of the terror attack in Barcelona, the U.S. president's initial response was similar to many other world leaders. He tweeted this: "The United States condemned the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and we'll do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough and strong. We love you." The U.S. vice president echoed that message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States condemns this terror attack, and we will do whatever is necessary to help. Whatever inspired today's terror attack, the United States stands ready to assist the people of Spain and find and punish those responsible. On this dark, our prayers, and the prayers of all the American people are with the victims, their families, and the good people of Spain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining me now: Political Analyst, Peter Matthews. And of course, Peter, as with Donald Trump it's not necessarily the initial response but there is always a controversy somewhere. A lot of people have known that the president was very quick to condemn the terror attack in Barcelona, yet he has still to call a similar attack -- that car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. And at that domestic terrorism, he says, call it whatever you want. So, can you explain why Donald Trump sees these two attacks, which seemed very different to most as being so different to him?
PETER MATTHEWS, POLITICAL ANALYST: A complete double standard is part. Not only did he condemned the size of the terror attack in Spain, he even sent love, as his tweet indicated (INAUDIBLE). But when it came to Charlottesville, there wasn't a word about terrorism in any way, and I think he's playing to his base. He wants that extremist base, who is, of course, that extremist that White Nationalist, White Supremacist to stick with him, and vote for him, and get people galvanized once again in 2020 camp.
He's always cared to his base, and overall, his base's support just 33 percent, 34 percent. But he was thinking politically, but also from his emotional basis. (INAUDIBLE) be able to connect with the tragedy of this kind of thing in Charlottesville, because the people who were the counter protesters didn't agree with him politically. He took one side over the other. It was completely egregious as an American president. This hasn't happened before in my life time.
[01:25:29] VAUSE: Right. With this Charlottesville, the president -- he was criticized that temperance response Saturday -- by Tuesday, that very, kind of, contentious news conference, he said that first about Charlottesville, he just being cautious. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. It a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts. And it's a very, very important process to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That does seem to be a trend here when it comes to the president when he's cautious, and when he wants to be quick off the mark.
MATTHEWS: Yes. He liked that double standard. He wants to not wait for facts when -- you know, that even that have occurred in Florida, and he right away jumped in conclusion that it was a terrorist, a Muslim terrorist. And when it comes to this he's going to wait for the facts, because he doesn't want to take a decisive stand against White Supremacy and the terrorism of that group that was there on a Friday night and Saturday night again about causing violence, armed.
And then someone ramming -- one of their members, ramming of the automobile into the body of many, many people, you know, killing one woman, a beautiful 32-year-old woman who's an active social justice activist, Heather Heyer, was killed, dead, and it was horrible. She was a person exemplary and perfect example -- a fine example of what America is all and should be about, and most of us are about. In this case, the president has to get this right. In fact, Senator Bob Corker says, he doesn't think the president has the competence or the ability to be successful at this point. He hasn't shown that side.
VAUSE: After that initial tweet on Thursday, the one, you know, which seemed almost normal offering support, then about 45 minutes later we have another tweet. This is it: " Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" Now, this is a golden only statement from the campaign, but this was Donald Trump last year explaining what he meant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and dipped 50 bullets in pig's blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said you go back to your people and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years there wasn't a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So, the story changes a little bit, but the bottom line is none of it is true. And you know, during the campaign that was pointed out to the president. So, why would he so publicly, you know, put up a rumor out there or a false debunked story; not only proven to be wrong but also offensive.
MATTHEWS: Because Donald Trump has never had a problem with lying or coming out with the fact that doesn't exist. He talks about fake news, he is the fake news in many ways. He doesn't -- no compunction about that, no worry about that, he just wants to say things that he wants to say to get his base fired up and get people who are, you know, full of his particular ideology out there and supporting him once again. So, that's one reason he didn't care about it and brought it back up again. The same comments with the General Pershing; totally inaccurate.
VAUSE: And very quickly, there doesn't seem to be any realization from the president of, essentially, the controversy of his actions over the last couple of days. There's no moderation of his behavior. I guess that was not to be expected.
MATTHEWS: This is amazing. I mean, we have -- every time you think that we're at the apex of this crisis of leadership, it gets even worse. And so, I'm not surprised one bit as to how he sees this. He's not really connected to reality, in my view. And we need the president to be (INAUDIBLE). Senator Corker said, we need him to succeed, but he hasn't shown one possibility of being a successful leader who can take this forward in the right way.
[01:29:19] VAUSE: OK. Peter -- hey, thank you so much for staying late and being with us. We appreciate it. (INAUDIBLE). Thank you. A short break here. When we come back, tributes for Barcelonan are coming in from around the world. In Tel Aviv, the city hall was lit out with the colors of the Spanish and Israeli flag. And after the break, we'll hear from a man who witnessed the horrific attack at a Barcelona tourist spot.
[01:32:15] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to Barcelona where we are following breaking news. Spain has been targeted in at least two terror attacks in less than 24 hours.
The first was a van attack here in Barcelona, just 500 yards my left shoulder, and at least 13 people were killed. Authorities say the driver got away, but two suspects were arrested. One of the arrest was made in our town southwest of Barcelona. That is the same place of a house explosion on Wednesday. Killed one person and the police say the blast is tied to the Barcelona attack.
And short time ago, police say five suspects were killed in a possible terror attack in the city of Cambrils. ISIS's media wing says the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the terror group. Police say they are working under the assumption all three incidents are linked.
CNN's Anderson Cooper now brings us this look at how this Barcelona tragedy unfolded.
And a warning to viewers, his report contains graphic video.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, A.C. 360 (voice-over): Around 5:00 p.m. local time, a white van suddenly accelerated into the crowd on one of Barcelona's most popular boulevards.
COOPER: Driving at about 50 miles an hour, according to eyewitnesses, zigzagging in an apparent effort to hit as many people as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
COOPER: Spanish authorities confirm this was an act of terrorism with ISIS already claiming the attackers as soldiers of the Islamic State.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I saw him plow into the other merchants, the pedestrians. I saw people flying over the vehicle. Just flying all around the vehicle. It was just a really, really horrific scene of immediate carnage.
COOPER: Panicked survivors fled the horrific scene.
COOPER: More than 100 injured were strewn all over the boulevard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGAUGE)
COOPER: This woman points out the number of bodies she can see from her window overlooking Las Ramblas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
[01:35:01] COOPER: Two armed men were seen jumping out of the van after it crashed. Police believe they were trying to reach a getaway vehicle. Two suspects allegedly involved in the attack were later arrested but the driver of the van is still on the run.
COOPER: Spain now joins the growing list of European countries, along with Britain, France and Germany, that have seen vehicles used as weapons of terror against unsuspecting crowds of civilians.
ANDERSON: We'll keep you updated as we learn more about this investigation. John, I want to get it back to you. And just before I do, set the scene for you here. If I just move away, the yellow ambulance you can see over my left shoulder it part of the top of Placa de Ramblas. If you consider, that is where that van entered what is a pedestrian street and mowed people down at 5:00 in the evening, yesterday evening. It is now 7:30 in the morning. There is a huge presence of police around this square. The square is on the move again. I think it's really important to point out that this is a city, and you and I have already said this, this morning, it's a familiar theme, sadly. Over this past year, this is the ninth such event that we have seen across Europe. But the idea that this city will not be cowed and it is on the move again is quite remarkable. As I say, 7:30 in the morning, as the sun came up, the cordons were lifted and the traffic is moving once again. But clearly, what happened behind me and clearly what happened in Cambrils was just 75 miles down the road, it is part of what is now an ongoing investigation with the van driver of the vehicle that plowed into people and injuring more than a hundred, some 18 nationalities, still on the run -- John?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Becky, thank you.
And it is called terror by truck, by some weaponizing a vehicle to kill as many as possible, a relatively new tactic which first left the world shocked. On Bastille Day, last July, a large truck plowed into crowds in Nice celebrating France's national holiday. The driver was inspired by ISIS, killing 85 people, wounding more than two hundred. In December, a Berlin Christmas market was the target. Twelve people dead, killed by a Tunisian man who had pledged allegiance to ISIS. By March, it was London. An SUV running down and killing five pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge. But the driver, armed with a knife, then went on to stab a police officer who survived. The next month, a stolen vehicle was used in Stockholm to kill five people. The driver was described as an ISIS sympathizer. By June, the tactic had evolved. First, came the attack on London Bridge. Then three men inside that van went on a stabbing spree, killing eight people.
Kevin Coffey joins me now. He's a travel, safety and personal security expert. And Kevin is going to give us an idea of essentially what we should be doing right now because the authorities say these attacks are only going to increase in frequency in all likelihood. So we'll find out exactly some tips to stay safe.
Kevin, exactly what should you do if you go on holiday, to a regular destination, not Syria or Yemen, you know, Europe somewhere. What should you do before you even get on the plane?
KEVIN COFFEY, TRAVEL SAFETY & SECURITY EXPERT: That's a great question. It some areas that a lot of folks won't even think about. Let's talk about three quick ones. One is, what is your basic travel emergency plan? So all travelers, I don't care if you're on business or leisure, what are you thinking about that if you get involved, even in a simple traffic accident, you become incapacitated, how is someone going to help you back home to help work through this, to help get your medical records, transfer money in your accounts? And most folks do not think about that far in advance to build. So come up with that.
Number two is take a look at your insurance plans. Many people are just totally unaware that their personal medical insurance does not provide coverage overseas. So if they become harmed and sick, sometimes they have to front the cash themselves. Even folks on Medicare, it does not cover for them. And even when you take a look at the other folks in these basic-level entry insurance plans, they don't have coverage at all. So you could have to pay $20,000 to $30,000 if you are hurt seriously, medically.
The third thing I like to take a look at is your cell phone. Now is a very interesting thing. You know, your cell phone is too many folks it's as important as their passport, right? If you were to lose this, it becomes lost or stolen or damaged, you're in another country, you do not have any way to connect back up at home.
VAUSE: It was interesting looking at the video, a lot of cell phones.
COFFEY: Stuff all over. Same thing happened at the Orlando airport when they did an evacuation.
So I ask folks, what is your cell phone replacement plan? Not about how much it will cost. But if you had to buy a new one, you have all the passwords accessible so you can start downloading all your contacts. So every traveler needs to have an emergency file that they put in the cloud that they can go to any computer, have all their passwords emergency contacts.
[01:40:12] VAUSE: OK, so once you get there, what's the basic sort of advice here? What do you need to do?
COFFEY: So, a couple of things. Let's take a look at what has just happened here today or yesterday in Barcelona. In law enforcement, what we call situational awareness. I try to teach this in my courses all time. So when you are walking down the street, you need to really pay attention to your surroundings. It's very hard, like we talked about. You're in a beautiful location --
VAUSE: You're relaxing.
VAUSE: You don't want to be uptight worrying about is there a truck coming --
COFFEY: But you have -- it's not very difficult. If you pay attention to a lot of the sounds, listing for vehicles that are speeding by, gunning of engines. You are listening to any type of collision. So you can start taking a couple of seconds to see where that is coming from that can give you those couple of seconds to take reaction. Always walk against traffic so you can see vehicles coming towards you. And never walk in the middle of these big pedestrian walkways. Most of the people that are always most vulnerable where these vehicles can go through. When you walk on the fringes --
VAUSE: -- the furtherest to go to --
COFFEY: Yes. You walk on the fringes, so if a vehicle is coming, you can duck into these doorways and you can get out of the way quickly.
The other mistake of a lot of people I've seen - and I watch this and I do this training for all the folks when they go overseas -- is that when these events have happened, look back at a lot of these videos, you see a lot of the folks, once the vehicle that the terrorist, the folks who have done these terrorist acts have come to a conclusion, the people start going back to the vehicle. It just happened in Charlottesville. You saw those folks went right after it. What happened? The vehicles went in reverse, and it's still an active situation, still hot. You do not want to approach these situations. You want to get away from them as quickly as possible and start making your way out of there.
VAUSE: OK, what about parents who have children studying abroad? Because that's a whole different story. They will have situational awareness, but they're not looking for a terrorist attack.
COFFEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. When you look at the study abroad programs, it's very interesting. Some colleges and universities are very proactive and provide more in-depth training on emergency procedures and how to be proactive. And others do not want to address it at all. It is kind of, they do not want to scare people. There is that fine line. It's all in how it is delivered. So parents need to get involved in this process and ask the institutions where they send their students. Even high schools, right? Our son went to Spain two years ago on a high school program. Nobody provided any of this information to him. I gave him a very in-depth. This is what I do at corporations. But unless parents will be more proactive, to say let us discuss some of these things, they're children could be harmed.
VAUSE: Because quite often, whether it's vacation or kids studying abroad, you are in a country, it's a foreign language, in the schools, it's a completely different foreign environment, which is why we go there, because it's something new and different. But there has to be a moment of mineralization with all of these different aspects, knowing what the emergency phone number is, knowing how to contact the police, knowing the protocols, how these things work, because every country is different, right?
COFFEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's where -- the program that I do, it's a three-hour presentation just on street-smart survival skills. Like, here's a simple one. If you had your cell phone, if this was yours, I bet if I found it -- let me see your phone for a second.
COFFEY: So if your phone, if you drop this, and I picked it up off the street and the battery was dead, how would I return it to you? VAUSE: I have no idea. Charge it up maybe.
COFFEY: So if you found my phone and it was dead, how would you return it to me?
COFFEY: Remove the case, remove it, and it has all the information on how to return it. So simple things like this. You know, if this is street-smarts 101, a lot of these items, you want to get back to you. So there's a lot of proactive things you can do. You just have to spend the time to learn it, understand it, and you can reduce your chances greatly on these traveler mishaps.
VAUSE: OK, and that's the sad state of the world right now.
VAUSE: OK. Kevin, thanks for coming in.
VAUSE: Appreciate it.
Well, in New York, this spire of the One World Trade Center is lit up in the colors of the Spanish flag to show solidarity to Spain after that deadly terror attack in Barcelona.
We'll take a short break. Back in a moment.
[01:46:28] ANDERSON: Let's get you back to our top story, the terror attack in Spain. Police investigating a van ramming through crowded streets in Barcelona here. One witness says he saw people flying into the air. At least 13 people died. More than 100 others are injured. Authorities say two suspects are in custody. But the driver of the van who plowed into people, just behind me here, is still at large.
And south of Barcelona, in the town of Cambrils, police say they shot five terrorists. Four died right away and another later died of injuries.
Before all of this happened, one person died in a house explosion. That was on Wednesday in a coastal town. Police do believe this is connected to the attack in Barcelona.
So much going on here in what is just the last 24 hours.
For more on the attack here in Barcelona, I'm joined by Jim Kent (ph). He witnessed the aftermath of the tragedies.
Just after 7:00 in the morning on Friday morning. What unfolded on Las Ramblas, the pedestrian street, just over my shoulder here, happened around 5:00 in the evening. Take me back to yesterday. What were you doing and what happened?
JIM KENT (ph), WITNESS: I mean, it is a completely unbelievable situation. No one thought that, I guess, it would happen here. But for me, we were just -- normal day. And then we suddenly heard there had been some sort of incident, so we came down here as quickly as we could. What we saw was just there was a fleet of ambulances and police cars. I was at the base of Las Ramblas and my back was to the ocean. The actual incident was closer to this end, where we're standing this morning. And then we heard this news about this man driving into the crowd.
ANDERSON: I've heard it described as tidal way of people fleeing for their lives. Does that sound familiar?
KENT (ph): Sure. I think - I mean, firstly, this van, it drove quite a long way down this pedestrianized area. Typically, that time of day, there could be hundreds, maybe a thousand people. So for sure, it would have provoked panic and just terror, and just unbelievable.
ANDERSON: You're originally from England. You've been living here for two and a half years. So just tell me, what would be going on in the Las Ramblas on an average day in August.
KENT (ph): Sure. I mean, Las Ramblas is the one street everybody wants to come. August is a month when a lot of locals go away on vacation, so it's filled with the million tourists we get here every month. It's such a popular place, especially for Brits and Americans and other Europeans. So the street would have been crowded by people just enjoying. It's filled with stalls and little things to buy and food places.
ANDERSON: You witnessed the aftermath of what is a horrendous terror attack. You had some sleep, I know, and you're pretty calm this morning. Just describe to me how you felt as you witness that incident.
KENT (ph): So, I mean, I think the whole city is filled with a sense of shock. Honest disbelief that it could happen here. I supposed in the back of the mind, we always knew that terrorism can happen anyway. Barcelona is such a popular city. Maybe therefore, we could be on the radar of someone. But somehow, Spain felt we were below. We understood maybe London, Paris, of course, Nice. But in Spain, we thought it wouldn't happen here. But, of course, it's been proved wrong.
[01:50:07] ANDERSON: Do you know of warning signs that were missed in any way?
KENT (ph): I think most people would say that -- I mean, the presence of uniformed police on the streets is high here. For Brits they come on holiday, they comment that they see more Spanish police carrying automatic weapons than they do back at home. So I think in terms of uniformed police, Spain does take terrorism seriously.
Also, I arrived about 15 minutes after the attack and the police had managed to cordon off the whole of Las Ramblas. That's almost one kilometer alone. That is moving a lot of people, so it suggests that they did have some sort of plan in place for this kind of attack.
ANDERSON: And the response to understanding that not only have we had this terror attack, this devastating incident, behind where we are standing now, but just some 70 miles down the road to the southwest, in Cambrils, it now appears some sort of terror attack that is likely to be related to what happened here. Again, as a resident here, how does that make you feel?
KENT (ph): Well, I feel scared. Suddenly, you feel we are under attack. Something is going on. We didn't think it could be us. But now we know it is. So you begin asking yourself, how do I need to change my daily lifestyle just for safety. I guess this is something you never really consider until it happens to you. And now it is happening to us.
ANDERSON: We were discussing this earlier. For the viewer's sake, where we are now, this is a square at the top of the Placa de Catalunya. There will be later on today a memorial here. Amid the silence here, the king will be here. There's a sense of this is a city on the move again. And I thought it a sense of divine. I've used that word so many times over the last year in so many cities now in Europe, it's almost becoming a cliche. But will that help, do you think?
KENT (ph): Yes, for sure. From the friends that I have that are Cataline, they're strong people. Their nationalism is rather famous. And I'm sure they will come out in defiance of terrorism and make a statement that they don't want their lives to be changed. They don't want to live in fear. That's the country where we are now. So this is the square of the city. This is like Trafalgar Square. And I'm sure it will be filled to overflowing by people that want to share that sentiment.
ANDERSON: All right. We really appreciate you coming in. I know you got very little sleep. Incredibly disturbing to witness the aftermath of what was such a deadly attack yesterday.
Cities around the world showing their solidarity with Barcelona. In Canada, the Toronto sign in front of its city hall was lit up in red and yellow, colors of Spain.
We're going to take a very short break. We'll leave you with these images.
You're watching CNN. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: We've been hearing the shocking details of the attack from witnesses who watch it unfold here in Barcelona. I want you to have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) [01:54:49] UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS (voice-over): I was just about to go onto the Las Ramblas, which obviously is one of the most popular tourist sites in Barcelona, and I came to a crossroad and the light turned red. Just as I was about to cross, and so I stopped, and all of a sudden, a white van started speeding out of nowhere and took a drastic right turn right onto the walking part of the street and right into the people that were standing on the opposite side of the crosswalk where we were at, and he just plowed them down with a van and continued to drive down the road.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS (voice-over): I heard a very loud, kind of like it sounded, you know, the guy that was driving, whoever was driving the van, kind of floored it. I see this white van come. It looked like a utility truck or something, a white van with some blue writing on the side. And it literally came straight down the Ramblas ran into people, you know, on every side. And the Ramblas was full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers. And I saw people flying into the air.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS (voice-over): All of a sudden, there was this tidal wave of people running towards us and they were hysterical. It wasn't just a small number. It was a large number of people. Children were screaming. There was clearly a lot of distress in Spanish. English is not widely spoken and it was very difficult to work out. Except you could see the fear and the distress on these people and the fact that they were screaming in terror. Regardless of what might have happened, we knew we had to get ourselves out of there.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS (voice-over): It was kind of like a little chain of event, where I just saw a few people turn around and start yelling and screaming. And then almost instantly everyone around them was yelling, screaming, and headed in the opposite direction. At that moment, me and my cousin just turned around and started running back the way that we had initially come from. And all you could hear was people in an extreme -- just so much chaos and screaming and yelling and trying to find their other family members just because that area itself and that market was so extremely packed. Everyone was just trying to run to safety.
ANDERSON: Witnesses who survived what was a terrifying attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona yesterday. Sadly, 13 have lost their lives. More than a hundred are injured. And those are from 18 different countries. This country coming to terms with just what has happened over the last 24 hours.
Thanks for watching. I'm Becky Anderson, live for you in Barcelona.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause, in Los Angeles.
Our breaking news coverage continues after a short break.
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