Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Five Terror Suspects Killed In Cambrils; 13 Dead And More Than 100 Injured In Barcelona Van Attack; Trump Tweets Debunked Story On Gen. Pershing; Trump Criticizing Members Of His Own Party; Spain Targeted in 2 Terror Attacks in Less than 24 Hours; Sierra Leone Facing New Mudslide Threat; Witnesses Share Reaction to Barcelona Attack. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 18, 2017 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: You're watching breaking news on CNN. I'm Isha Sesay in Los Angeles.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: We begin with breaking news of five terror suspects in Spain killed by police. We have new video from the coastal town of Cambrils where this took place. This video was taken inside a night club when something happened.

(VIDEO PLAYS)

ANDERSON: You hear what sounds like gun fire. Still no official word of what went on there. Another video appears to show what happened next. And we must warn you, this video is graphic.

(VIDEO PLAYS)

ANDERSON: You see what appears to be bodies at the scene afterwards. Police say four terror suspects were killed. A fifth later died of his wounds. Emergency officials say six civilians were also hurt, two of them seriously.

(VIDEO PLAYS)

ANDERSON: The events in Cambrils came just hours after an initial terror attack here in Barcelona, where a van mowed down pedestrians on the popular Las Ramblas Avenue. And again, I've got to warn you that images of the aftermath in Barcelona are gruesome.

(VIDEO PLAYS)

ANDERSON: The manhunt is now underway for the van driver, who abandoned the vehicle and escaped. An affiliate of ISIS says that people behind the van attack were "soldiers of the Islamic State".

Two people have been arrested. One is from Morocco, the other from the Spanish Enclave of Melilla in Northern Africa. The prime minister has called for three days of mourning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIANO RAJOY, PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (via translator): The whole of Spain is moved by the same kind of feeling that has been experienced here in Barcelona.

Today, combating terrorism is the top priority of all free societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global. We all share the same love of freedom, the dignity of the human being and justice rather than fear. We're all allied in that cause. It is clear we are united in pain today, but also in the determination to fight against this barbarity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, hours earlier, a man was killed in a house explosion in the City of Alcanar. It's about 200 kilometers down the coast from Barcelona, around 120 miles. Police say there was a connection to the van attack at Las Ramblas.

We've got another video now to show you of the immediate aftermath of that van attack. And again, as we'll be saying throughout this morning, I'll have to warn you, as these images are about to be shown, I've got to warn you that they are graphic because, in those very few terrifying moments, Las Ramblas became an horrific bloody scene.

The driver of the van turned on to the pedestrian concourse and then quite simply accelerated. One witness said the vehicle was going very fast, possibly 80 kilometers an hour as it careened from side-to-side striking unsuspecting people.

By the time the driver stopped and left the vehicle, 13 people were dead or dying, more than 100 lay hurt.

Well, earlier, I spoke to witness Jim Kent (ph). He told me how he saw this tragedy unfold. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM KENT, WITNESS: No one thought that, I guess, it would happen here. But for me, we were just - normal day. Then we suddenly heard that there had been some sort of incident. So, we came down here as quickly we could.

And what we saw was just there was a fleet of ambulances and a fleet of police cars. I was at that base of Las Ramblas and my back to the ocean. The actual incident was closer to this and where we're standing this morning. And then we heard this news about this van driving into the crowd.

ANDERSON: I've heard it described as a tidal wave of people fleeing for their lives, does that sound familiar?

KENT: Sure. I think what we understand is that - firstly, this van, it drove quite a long way down this pedestrianized area. Typically, at that time of the day, there could be hundreds, maybe a thousand people. So, for sure, it would've provoked panic and just terror and just unbelievable.

[02:05:07] ANDERSON: You're originally from England and you've been living here for two-and-a-half years. So, just tell me, what would be going on in Las Ramblas on an average day in August?

KENT: Sure. Well, Las Ramblas is the one street that everybody wants to come to. August is a month when a lot of Catalan locals go away on vacation. So, it is filled with the million tourists that 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 full of stalls of little things to buy and food places.

ANDERSON: You witnessed the aftermath of what is an 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 witnessed that incident?

KENT: So, I think the whole city is filled with a sense of shock. Almost disbelief that it could happen here. I suppose, in the back of the mind, we always knew that, of course, terrorism can happen anywhere. Barcelona, it's 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, Berlin. But, somehow, Spain, we thought maybe it wouldn't happen here, but, of course, it's been proved wrong.

ANDERSON: Do you know of warning signs that were missed in anyway?

KENT: I think most people would say that - the presence of uniformed police on the streets is high here for Brits that 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 1- kilometer long. That's moving a lot of people. So, it suggests they did have some sort of plan in place for this kind of attack.

ANDERSON: And your response to - understanding that not only have we had this terror attack, this devastating incident just 500 yards behind where we are standing now, but just some 70-odd-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, how does that make you feel?

KENT: Well, you feel scared. Certainly, you feel, we are under attack. Something is going on. We didn't think it could be us, but now we know it is. And so, you begin asking yourself, how do I need to change my daily lifestyle just for safety? I guess this is something that you never really consider until it happens to you and now it's happening to us.

ANDERSON: We were discussing just a little earlier on for the viewers' sake where we are now. This is Catalunya Square, as it were, at the top of Placa de Catalunya. There will be, later on today, a memorial here, a minute of silence here. The King will be here. There is a sense that this is a city on the move again. I thought it a sense of divine. I have used that word so many times over the last year in some many cities now in Europe. It's almost becoming as sort of cliche. But will that help, do you think?

KENT. Yes. I mean, for sure. From the friends that I have who are Catalan, I would say they are 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.

And trust the Catalans - where we are now - so, this is the square of the city. This is the Trafalgar Square. And I'm sure it will be filled to overflowing by people who want to share that sentiment.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Once again, a vehicle has been turned into an instrument of death. It's low cost, low maintenance and can be highly deadly.

Here are some of the most significant recent examples. In July last year, a man inspired by ISIS plowed a truck through crowd celebrating Bastille Day in France in Nice. He killed 85 people.

In Berlin, just before Christmas last year, you'll remember, 12 people were murdered when a tractor-trailer was rammed into a festive market. The suspect later killed in a shootout with police.

In London this year, two attacks involved vehicles, one in Westminster in March where five people died in the attack on London Bridge and in June where eight people were killed. And it's not only those inspired by ISIS who inflict this type of terror.

Last week, in Charlottesville, Virginia, anti-racism protester Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd.

[02:10:13] Well, joining us now from Los Angeles is CNN law enforcement contributor and former FBI special agent, Steve Moore.

These scenes all too familiar here on Mainland Europe and indeed in the UK. One of my guests just earlier on was saying, there's a sense of what you do to protect yourself, particularly in areas, Steve, which are considered these soft targets? What can be done to prevent this sort of crime in the future?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It reminds me of where we were in the 1970s when we couldn't figure out how to deal with hijacking.

And we would ask ourselves what are we going to have to do, search everybody before we get on a plane. Well, yes, 40 years later, that's what we're doing.

And so, what we're going to see is we are going to lose open avenues. We are going to lose these piazzas where people can walk around and mingle like this. They are all going to have to be secured until we can find another way to stop vehicle attacks.

ANDERSON: All right. Apologies. We're having some technical difficulties here, but, Steve, I'll try to carry on and keep this going because this is absolutely fascinating.

And so, this is what occurred here. Let's also just consider what has happened over the past 24 hours. It's not just the terror attack that happened here in Barcelona. It's what's going on, what happens down the road from here, some 70-odd miles in Cambrils.

How do the emergency services cope with this sort of onslaught in such a small period of time and should they have seen the warning signs?

MOORE: Well, we always say that they should have seen the warning signs, but we don't know how many things that they have interdicted while this happened. They have to - it's like the triage. They have to go after the things that seem most extreme. And there are things that are out there on the radar that are scary.

The way they cope is that they practice for these things and they have practiced and practiced and they were ready and their response shows that they were ready.

The investigation, though, should indicate to the people who are watching the way these terrorist cells work. You have them all over within about 100 kilometers, 200 kilometers of Barcelona. You have an apparent bomb factory. You have another group of people up in Cambrils who are possibly going to be the people deploying these devices. And you have the driver in Barcelona.

I think the one thing that we can be grateful for is that something interdicted their perfect plan and they had to go off disorganized. And I want to give the police some credit, if indeed these people in Cambrils were involved. They have done some fabulous work on the fly.

ANDERSON: I hate to ask this question and we've asked it before, but I will ask it again. Is this the new norm?

MOORE: Yes. It is for the foreseeable future. Because what we found out again back in the 70s is terrorists were going to use airplanes until they were stopped and then they would go to something else.

And right now, they have found something that we can't stop at least in the short term. And you can steal a car, you can rent a car, you can find them anywhere. But until we learn to stop them, they are going to keep doing what they're doing because it's working.

ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We really appreciate your thoughts this morning. Thank you. It is about a quarter past eight in the morning or just coming up to here in Barcelona.

The Paris sky went dark as the tributes have poured in for victims of the Barcelona attack last night. We'll show you how cities around the world are expressing solidarity and how world leaders are speaking out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This latest attack, the worst terror attack on Spanish soil since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, shows us again that radical Islamic terrorism is one of the greatest threats that we face today.

[02:15:07] ISIS has taken credit for this barbaric attack. But whoever is responsible should know that the United States of America, together with our allies, will find and punish those responsible and drive the evil of radical Islamic terror from the face of the earth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to Spain at a quarter past eight here. Spanish Police say they faced off with suspected terrorists in the coastal town of Cambrils overnight. Officers killed four suspects in that operation. A fifth suspect was in custody, but died from his injuries.

Hours earlier, here in Barcelona, on a Thursday afternoon, a lovely Thursday afternoon as tourists were doing their own thing, an attack that was not foiled. Thirteen people are dead and more than 100 others are wounded after a van rammed into a busy tourist street.

Witnesses reporting bodies flying in the air and a tidal wave of people trying to get away. Two suspects are in custody, but the driver of that attack is still on the run.

And even earlier, a third incident down the coast in the 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.

I want to show you where the attack happened here in Barcelona. It's called Las Ramblas, 500 yards or so over my left shoulder here. The street is in the heart of this city, filled with cafes and shops where tourists and residents like to hangout.

But the crowds, well, quite frankly, they turned to panicking confusion as that van barreled through. One person inside a store recorded the moment as they and others fled to safety.

(VIDEO PLAYS)

ANDERSON: Well, the top of that road where that van careered on to the pedestrianized zone is literally where you are looking now. Witnesses have described a horrible scene of carnage Thursday afternoon.

[02:20:16] For many of them, it was supposed to a vacation until it all descended into chaos. Here is how one American tourist, who saw the attack happen, described it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It happened so fast. The thing that I remember is that the horror in everyone face as they were running away, trying to get off the main street. And the sound was terrible.

It was just crash, crash, crash and screams - screams and cries and people have just (INAUDIBLE) all they wanted to do was get off the main street.

And when we came outside the area, we saw people in ambulance - lots of ambulances, people being taken on stretchers, and (INAUDIBLE).

My wife and I are on holiday. Left our 15-month old back in States and the only thing I wanted to do was live another day to see her.

When we were hunkered down in the back of this man's shop kitchen, it was terrifying. We had a lot of people running around outside. We had some shots fired. And at that time, all you had to do is - you have to concentrate, is this literally where I die?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Around the world, sending messages of solidarity to Barcelona. Tel Aviv City Hall lit up with Spain's flag to express sympathy for the victims, while the Eiffel Tower also showed solidarity by going dark.

The French foreign minister says 26 French nationals were injured, 11 of them seriously. The French president tweeted earlier, "We remain united and determined," calling what happened, "a tragic attack" and expressing concern for the victims.

The British prime minister was sharing similar thoughts. Theresa May tweeted, "My thoughts are with the victims of today's terrible attack in Barcelona and the emergency services responding for this ongoing incident. The UK stands with Spain against terror."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan echoing that sentiment. He called it a barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona.

The German Chancellor calls the violence revolting. A spokesman for Angela Merkel writes, "We are mourning the victims of this disgusting attack in Barcelona in solidarity and friendship, side by side with the Spanish.

And as we learn that eight Australians were affected by the attack, many of them heard the Australian Prime Minister promising to help Barcelona.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We stand in absolute, resolute solidarity with the people of Spain in the fight against Islamist terrorism.

Spain is a partner in the anti-Daesh coalition in the Middle East and, of course, our intelligence agencies work closely with Spanish authorities, as we do with many, many other nations. This is a global battle against terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: My colleague, Isha Sesay, joins me now from Los Angeles with US reaction to what is this Barcelona attack.

SESAY: Thank you, Becky. Well, US President Donald Trump reacted to the Barcelona tragedy by first sending out a conventional statement, but then followed up with a tweet about a widely debunked rumor.

He first tweeted, "The United States condemned the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain and we will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough and strong. We love you!"

And then he tweeted this, "Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years."

But here's the thing, there is no evidence backing up President Trump's claim that, in early 1900s, General John Pershing and his forces shot Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood to deter them during the Philippine-American war."

So, in the face of Barcelona's horrific terrorist attack, some are questioning why the president is highlighting a story that was widely debunked after he told it on the campaign trail last year.

Well, the president's tweets and his reaction to the recent events in Charlottesville are also causing members of his own party to speak out against him.

Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator, is among those who were dismayed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm not going to defend the indefensible. What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. That moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Another Republican senator Bob Corker went a step further, saying he questions the presidents' competence.

[02:25:01] As Jim Acosta reports, the attacks from Mr. Trump's party are fueling the president to fight back against them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (voice-over): For the second straight day, President Trump shied away from the cameras, following his divisive comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

But on Twitter, the president is still in clean-up mode, blasting Republicans who criticized him, and falsely claiming he did not put white supremacists on the same level as the people protesting them.

Tweeting, Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists."

He also attacked Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, cheering on his upcoming primary opponent, tweeting, " Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!"

Graham hit back in a statement. "Because of the manner in which you've handled the Charlottesville tragedy, you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our nation, as our president, please fix this."

GOP Senator Bob Corker lashed out at the president to reporters in Tennessee, saying -

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is also showing more sympathy for the Confederate statues coming down around the country, doubling down on his comments earlier this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same, Mr. President.

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: George Washington was a slave owner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, sir -

TRUMP: Was George Washington a slave owner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he was in the 1700s.

TRUMP: So, will George Washington now lose his status? You're changing history, you're changing culture.

ACOSTA (voice-over): President tweeted, "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped up apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Who's next? Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!"

Democrats aren't buying it.

REP. DENNY HECK (D), WASHINGTON: President Trump has made a living off of changing the subject. He wants this now to be about statues and monuments, OK? And the last time I checked, the Republican Party was frankly in favor of local control.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Joining the debate, the President's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon slammed white supremacists to the Progressive American Prospect, saying, "Ethno nationalism, it's losers, it's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much and we've got to help crush it. You know, help crush it more."

At first, Bannon claimed, he didn't know he was being interviewed.

STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: He called me. And weirdly, he never said that we were off the records.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The sources close to Bannon saying he really intended the remarks to divert attention from the president's comments on Charlottesville. One source told CNN, Bannon knew full well this would distract from criticism.

(on-camera): The White House declined to comment on Bannon's remarks, but a White House spokesperson did weigh in on the future of the president's top economic adviser Gary Cohn, who was with Mr. Trump at that wild news conference Tuesday.

Sources said Cohn was upset by the president's comments, but the White House said Cohn is not going anywhere.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Bridgewater, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Well, three major organizations are ditching plans to host events at President Trump's luxurious club in Florida. The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society and the American Friends of Magen David Adom have all canceled galas at Mar-a-Lago. The hospital did not say why.

The Cancer Society says hosting a fundraiser on a Trump-owned property presents a challenge to its values.

And the third group, which supports emergency services in Israel, says it gave considerable deliberation before backing out.

No comment as yet from Mar-a-Lago.

We're going to take a quick break here. Up next, we'll head back to Barcelona for more coverage on the terrorism in Spain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:31:13] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything else that might happen? Is it just everything is safe? We don't know if we should leave the area or stay here. Is it going to be safe and be back to normal or do we just have to go back home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: You're joining us here in Barcelona. It's about half past 8:00 in the morning Friday. We just heard from a tourist from Lebanon there talking about Thursday's terror attack here. Thirteen people were killed when a van drove through crowded streets. Authorities say five terror suspects were later killed in the city of Cambrils to the south. Police say they are working under the assumption that incident may be tied to this Barcelona attack.

Here's what Spain's prime minister said earlier about the Barcelona tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIANO RAJOY, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translation): Of course, we are united in our grief. We are, above all, united in our desire to end this madness and barbarity. We have waged many wars against terrorism in the long course of history. And we have always won them. On this occasion, too, the Spanish will defeat them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, the Catalonian government said that the wounded in Barcelona came from as many as 24 countries. And the French government 26 of its citizens were among the injured.

CNN's Anderson Cooper brings us this look at how the tragedy unfolded.

And a warning, his report contains graphic video.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(SIRENS)

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.

(SHOUTING)

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.

(SHOUTING)

COOPER: Panicked survivors fled the horrific scene.

(SHOUTING)

(SIREN) COOPER: The dead and 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)

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.

(SIREN)

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.

(SIREN)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:34:56] ANDERSON: We've been hearing from eyewitnesses describing the fear and shock they felt when that van rammed through the crowds.

Ali Shirozinnia (ph) saw the whole attack. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI SHIROZINNIA (ph), WITNESS: I was basically on my bike on the right side of the road and I remember, literally, a minute or two after riding past, I guess, their equivalent of like a SWAT team, got a machine gun standing next to his truck. After that, I heard a lot of screams and I saw -- I looked over to my left and I saw all of the people along the promenade kind of split into two, some going right, the rest coming towards me, screaming and running as fast as they could towards me. And then I heard a very loud kind of like -- it sounded like, you know, the guy that was driving, whoever was driving the van, kind of floored it. I see this white man 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 and ran into people, you know, on every side. And the Ramblas is full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers. And I saw people flying into the air. And everybody was kind of running into the shop on either side of the Ramblas. And you know, a lot of people were in shock. And you know, that is basically all I saw. And then, right after that, I saw like maybe four or five uniformed police officers running after the van. It was actually a heavy police presence in that area, like there has been all over Barcelona all summer long, but especially in that area. So I think there was already a really large police presence in that area that were able to act quickly somehow in going after whoever perpetrated this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Terrifying account. Sadly, all too familiar in cities in the U.K., in France and in Germany. And we've heard from world leaders, particularly those from the city that have experienced this sort of terror just over the past year, an outpouring of support for this great city of Barcelona.

My colleague, Isha Sesay, is joining me now from Los Angeles with the U.S. reaction to the Barcelona attack -- Isha?

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Becky.

Still to come, much more on the terror attack investigations in Barcelona.

Plus, some other news. Sierra Leone is still reeling from a devastating mudslide earlier this week. Now it's preparing for the possibility of another one, even bigger than the last.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:40:23] SESAY: Hello, everyone. Recapping our top story for you now. Police are searching for the driver who plowed into a busy Barcelona street, killing at least 13 people. Authorities say they have two suspects in custody, but neither of them was behind the wheel. Officials also note the death toll is likely to rise with more than 100 people wounded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SIREN)

(GUNFIRE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: In Cambrils, about 150 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, police say they killed four terrorists. One officer was wounded as well as six civilians. A fifth suspect was arrested but later died of his injuries.

Police are operating under the assumption that these two incidents all connected, as well as a third, an explosion in a coastal town Wednesday, which destroyed a home and killed one person.

ISIS hasn't explicitly claimed responsibility for any of these attacks, but the terror groups says the perpetrators in Barcelona were its soldiers.

Turning to other news now, it is a race against time in Sierra Leone. Officials are warning of a new mudslide threat near the capitol only days after a mudslide in the area killed at least 331 people.

Our Farai Sevenzo reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the cold light of day, the scale of the mudslide is all too apparent. When the earth gave way to torrential rain earlier in the week, it flowed down hill, dislodging big rocks, destroying homes, and ending lives. Rescue workers now on a recovery mission. The rush because of the danger.

Sierra Leone must now recover from a disaster that has wiped out entire families. The dead have been laid to rest in a mass burial. The collective grief is palpable.

(CRYING)

SEVENZO: Nearly 3,000 people have been made homeless and are now being sheltered in places like this, a school.

The rains have not stopped. More than 20 inches fell on Freetown on Monday morning.

Officials say they have seen a crack in another one of Freetown's hills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is now more worrisome for us, we have realized that we have bigger portion that is ready to likely collapse. And we don't know how much coverage that we have.

SEVENZO: Monday's landslide at the bottom of Sugarloaf Hill was 4.7 acres in size.

Should this new crack give way in the rain, more than 70 acres would collapse and impact a far larger area, more homes, more people, and more dead.

Officials say they are in a race against time and are scrambling to evacuate large chunks of the city. With scant resources and high need, the agony may not be over.

Farai Sevenzo, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Joining me now on the phone is Andra Weissberger, the IsraAID country director there in Sierra Leone.

Andra, thank you so much for joining us.

Can you describe the situation in Freetown right now as the search for victims of this mudslide continues?

ANDRA WEISSBERGER, COUNTRY DIRECTOR IN SIERRA LEONE, ISRAAID (via telephone): Yes, again, overnight there was heavy, heavy rain here in Freetown and the people who are homeless are still homeless. We -- the international community, along with the government, are working hard to get tents up for people but, at the moment, some are staying with family and friends, others in schools. There is a lot of stress. Many people have not been able to identify their loved one, which has also been a huge source of pain and anguish for the victim.

SESAY: Andra, we just heard that officials say there are other cracks in Mount Sugarloaf, fear of further landslides. They talked of evacuations. Have those evacuations of other areas started in preparation for what could be an even bigger mudslide?

WEISSBERGER: So the last situation room report, it was said that they were beginning to evacuate the areas overnight. Most of the homes in that area are like shantytowns, not stable structure. And they are trying to evacuate people as quickly as possible. But not everyone wants to leave. And those who do, are getting out as quick as they can.

SESAY: Andra, as you know, you've been in the country for many years, I know that. Sierra Leone is a desperately poor country. It is just trying to get over the Ebola crisis. This is a big, big challenge for the government. How much international support is the country receiving at this critical time?

[02:45:15] WEISSBERGER: International partners, both government, NGO, and other aid partners have all come together to support the government in their plan for crisis and recovery. And food had been delivered. And tents are on their way, blankets, shelter and medicine for cholera. The big fear at the moment is there will be a cholera outbreak because of this.

SESAY: Andra, we just heard in Farai's report, and I speak to people in Freetown. They tell me the scale of the tragedy, people losing multiple family members and everything they own. I know you and your team are on the ground. Talk to me about the work you're doing and how people are even beginning to comprehend the scale of this disaster, those directly affected.

WEISSBERGER: Yes, so IsraAID runs a social support program here in Sierra Leone using local social workers. And we have been on the ground since Monday morning meeting with the victims and families trying to stress reduction and build resilience. And it has been quite a difficult road. People who have lost everything, their livelihood. It's not just their home. It's their entire life, and that's been really a challenge for them. And they are looking to the government and the international community for support, both monetary and physical and an emotional throughout this difficult time.

SESAY: Andra Weissberger, we thank you for the work you are doing. It is my home country so I say thank personally. And thank you for coming on to share your insights into what happening right now. We really do appreciate it. Sierra Leone needs a lot of help right now. We ask people not to turn away.

Time for a quick break. Still to come, a chilling eyewitness account of the deadly terror attack in Barcelona. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: We're following the breaking news out of Spain after a deadly terror attack in Barcelona. 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured after a van rammed through pedestrians on a crowded street. Police say the driver got away. Two suspects have been arrested.

Before all of this happened, one person died in a house explosion on Wednesday in a coast town. Police believe this is connected to the van ramming.

A little later on, police say they killed five terrorists in the town of Cambrils. Local officials say the suspects were in a vehicle that hit several people including officers. They were killed in a shootout with police.

We're hearing the shocking details of the attack from witnesses who watch it unfold in Barcelona. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

[02:50:08] 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SESAY: Truly, truly terrifying.

One man, Marco Phariangelini, lives near the scene of the tragedy and shot this video I'm about to show you of the aftermath.

I must warn you, parts of it are graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SIREN)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Earlier, I spoke to Marco and asked him to describe what he witnessed as this attack unfolded.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARCO PHARIANGELINI, WITNESS: It was an extremely panicked situation. It's something that you can believe. I was leaving my house to do some other stuff on the other side of Ramblas. And suddenly, you start to see everybody in panic running. In the first moment, I thought that I heard only the yellings because, in the Ramblas, everything is terminally straight. And suddenly, I thought it would just be pockets. And suddenly, there was a mass of people running all around. And I went to the Ramblas and it was like chaos. Police with their guns pointing to everywhere trying to figure out what was going on. And so they decide to move up a little bit to the Ramblas and start to shoot. I live one street behind Ramblas. So was some details. I could not imagine that we would be living this here.

SESAY: Marco, when everyone started to run, where did you run to?

PHARIANGELINI: Sorry?

SESAY: Where did you run to when the crowd started to move in panic?

PHARIANGELINI: In the first moment, I started to run the same direction of the crowd. It's like a panic moment. You don't know what is going on. Your first reaction is to run. And I ran a little bit in the same direction to the crowd. Then I stopped and I realized that no one was chasing us. So I decided to go back. I live in the Ramblas and 200 meters from the area where the car stopped. And I start to move in that direction. And I start to do the live, trying to record anything I could.

SESAY: At what point did you realize that this was a terror attack?

PHARIANGELINI: Well, the main thing is that you don't see this mass of people running in Barcelona. In the first moment, I thought it was panic. Then one person showed me a tweet saying that a car hit something or was something extremely right to the point. Information came really fast here. And then I thought, well, something's going on and I decided to go to other direction. You realize that something wrong is happening here because you don't see -- you see the police but you don't see this reaction of the police often, how you see how you saw yesterday.

SESAY: Can you descript, when you say you don't see this reaction of the police like what you saw, try and explain that for our viewers. What do you mean by that?

PHARIANGELINI: Imagine that Barcelona raising the level four in the last two years in the terrorism attack. And you see this an extremely touristic area. We are the tourist capitol, the ground zero of the city, and the other side is an area, which is one other historical mark here in Barcelona. So you see a lot of cops here, but usually they are just looking around. Today, when the thing starts, you see they are pointing their guns to everywhere because they were also trying to figure out what was going on. They were trying to evacuate the Ramblas. You could see some police guys that were -- was not dressed like police. But they usually are like undercover and they just show there themselves today. So they were all evacuating the Ramblas. It's something that you will never see here.

[02:55:42] SESAY: Marco, we're almost out of time. But I have to ask you what you saw was absolutely terrible. I mean, you saw this act of evil in the aftermath. How are you doing now?

PHARIANGELINI: It was really hard to sleep last night. I mean, it's 6:30 a.m. today here in Barcelona. Was really, really hard. Also, because you have a lot of different informations coming. You do not know exactly what is going on. So in one moment, they captured the guy in the van. Suddenly, they did not. So everybody is a little bit scared. I said we live in an area that is the old part of the town. So it is like the - it's really straight. A lot of buildings, a lot of houses. It's like a maze. If you get inside and the neighborhoods of Ramblas, you will see that it is like a maze. It's small streets, really straight. So a lot of people lives there. And you don't know exactly where this guy could be hiding. So you get a little bit scared.

SESAY: Understandably. And you made the point, this is an area that always has a heavy police presence. Yet, this happened, this still happened. This terrible, terrible scene played out today.

Has this attack, has it changed your sense of your own safety, Marco? Has it changed your sense of safety in public spaces?

PHARIANGELINI: Well, maybe should be. But I think everybody here in Barcelona should not change their way of life. We need to keep the way of life that we're going to have. Today, here in the Placa de Catalunya, noon, we're going to have one minute of silences, respect the people that died in this terrible accident. But after that, I think we should try to keep moving our lives in the way they usually were because -- I mean, Barcelona is a city extremely happy and we need to keep -- bring back this happiness of the city.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Marco Phariangelini speaking there. And our prayers are with the people of Spain. We will continue to bring you the very latest on the anti-terror operations under way there right now. Becky Anderson will have much more from Barcelona after a quick break.

I'm Isha Sesay. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)