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Piers Morgan Live
Terror at Boston Marathon; Experts and Participants React to Bombing of Boston Marathon
Aired April 15, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world to CNN's team coverage of terror at the Boston Marathon.
Millions are stunned tonight by what appears to have been a coordinated attack at one of the world's elite and most popular athletic events. Two bombs in the finishing line, 50 to 100 yards apart, blowing up just before 3:00 this afternoon within 12 seconds of each other, ripping through the crowd of spectators about two hours after elite runners had passed by.
The explosions a one-two punch so powerful they knocked some runners to the ground and shook nearby buildings. Witnesses said it felt like a huge cannon.
Here's what we know right now. At least 141 people are being treated right now in Boston hospitals, three have been confirmed dead. One of those victims an eight-year-old boy. Authorities found and dismantled three other explosive devices. There were no credible threats before the race and Boston's police commissioner says there is no suspect in custody but many people are being questioned.
They also said they're searching for a man darker skinned or black with a black backpack and black sweatshirt who reportedly tried to get into a restricted area minutes before the first explosion.
This is the instant that thousands of people went from running for the finishing line to running for their lives.
"Boston Globe's" Steve Silva captured the whole thing in this dramatic video.
I'll talk to the man who shot that dramatic video in just a moment. But first, go to Anderson Cooper who's live in Boston.
Anderson, the death toll has risen to three. We now believe at least 138 people on top of that have been wounded. That is likely to rise as well. Have we got to the full scale of this yet?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S AC 360: I don't think we have. I think it's still early hours in this investigation and obviously the triage on those -- on those wounded, that is well under way, as you said. Three now confirmed dead and we just learned that just a few moments ago. Earlier, about an hour ago, we thought it was just two confirmed dead. It's not clear if that is likely to rise. We don't know the full extent of the injuries but what we're hearing from doctors is there have been a lot of amputations, ball bearing injuries.
Apparently in some of these devices there were ball bearings which obviously become -- when airborne can become deadly, can do extreme damage to a person's body. Multiple wounds on a number of people, as I said, more than at least 10 amputations.
And what we're hearing from doctors is a lot of the wounds are in the lower extremities, in the legs, which seems to indicate that the devices were relatively low to the ground. But exactly how those devices were detonated, we do not yet know. Nor of course do we know most importantly who the person or persons or group that was behind this, foreign or domestic. This which is undoubtedly an act of terror but exactly who was behind it at this hour, we simply don't know.
And I can tell you, Piers, obviously this entire area is locked down. We're a few blocks from the end of the finish line. Very difficult to even get to this area. Obviously police are on a high state of alert. Federal authorities are in charged of this investigation. The Boston Police are everywhere now and we've had -- you've seen all throughout the city police from other municipalities coming in as well to lend a hand and really, the city trying to pull together at this moment.
As we saw in the moments after the blast, the first responders running toward what others were running from, helping out those who were wounded, those who were down on the ground. Pools of blood on the street. Now we saw citizens doing what they can, what they could, to try to help those wounded as well -- Piers.
MORGAN: And, Anderson, just quickly, there's continued speculation about exactly how many devices the police have located. We know that two exploded but there are reports that as many as five devices may have been on the site in total and that three were then unexploded. Is that correct, do we think?
COOPER: I don't want to speculate and that is speculation. I mean, there are -- yes, there are a couple of other newspapers which have been reporting multiple devices were found unexploded. Boston Police have said one of those reports was not true. So I think it would be -- it's too early at this point to really say.
You know there was a report earlier in the day, there was a fire at the JFK Library, people thought that was somehow linked to these blasts. Authorities then came out later on and said that it wasn't. So it still is early hours. And I know it's frustrating to kind of pull back, but I do think it's important that we not kind of make this seem larger than it may be. We simply don't know how many other devices there were, Piers, at this hour.
MORGAN: Anderson, for now, thank you very much indeed.
When the bomb went off at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon with the whole world watching, a 78-year-old elite runner was thrown to the ground. Amid the chaos and bloodshed, that became one of the pictures seen around the world. "Boston Globe" photographer John Tlumacki, captured the moment and he joins me now. Also, the 78- year-old runner, Bill Iffrig, also joins me.
Let me start with you, if I may, John Tlumacki. You went to cover the Boston Marathon for the local newspaper, "The Boston Globe," and it turned into the worst attack on American mainland since 9/11. Tell me exactly what you saw and where you were.
JOHN TLUMACKI, BOSTON GLOBE PHOTOGRAPHER: Well, I was at the finish line. We were covering the runners coming over later after the elite runners came over. And I was right at the finish line, right at the tape, and some runners were coming over and everybody was cheering, everybody was having a good time, and I was focused on a couple of children coming over the finish line. And then the blast occurred and everybody was just screaming.
There was, you know, a loud blast. That runner who you are describing fell in front of me and then the Boston Police officers that were near him started drawing their guns. It was -- it was just a panic on people's faces and nobody knew exactly what was going on. I don't think at first people realized that it was a real explosion.
MORGAN: From what you've seen, John, clearly at the moment, the death toll is only three people, which seems remarkably low given the fact that over 138 now, we believe, have been wounded. From what you saw, do you fear that the death toll is going to rise?
TLUMACKI: I do. I saw so many injuries that I had never seen before. I saw people with their legs blown off, their foot blown off. I just couldn't believe the carnage. When I got to the other side of the fence, there was a barricade fence there to keep spectators off the course, there was just people on top of people on top of people and it was just -- it was just an incredible sad sight to see that. And I just fear that the death toll will be greater than the three it is now.
MORGAN: John, I'm just going to leave it there for a moment. We've got now on the line, Bill Iffrig, who is that gentleman that we saw being blown off his feet there, the man in the orange, and that image right now on the cameras there with the police.
Bill Iffrig, thank you for joining me tonight.
BILL IFFRIG, 78-YEAR-OLD RUNNER WAS KNOCKED TO GROUND: Thank you.
MORGAN: The whole world has seen the images of you being blown off your feet. Tell me exactly what you experienced as you ran towards the finishing line.
IFFRIG: Well, I was just approaching the last straightaway to the finish line and I had a good day and I was feeling really good, and I got down to within about 15 feet of the finishing apron and just tremendous explosion, sounded like a bomb went off right next to me, and the shockwaves just hit my whole body and my legs just started jittering around.
I knew I was going down and so I ended up down on the blacktop and I didn't feel any severe pain but as I rolled over, I seen a little scratch on my leg but nothing too bad, so I laid there just momentarily. One of the finisher assistants come over and talked to me and asked me if there was anything he could do and offered to give me a hand, help me get up and help me get over the finish line so I could complete my race.
So we did that and I felt OK so I told him I was probably all right. He insisted on getting a wheelchair over there so we started to do that, but then before that was rounded up, I said hey, I'm only -- my hotel is about six blocks away so I think I can make it OK. So they let me -- let me get out of there and I went on home to my wife.
MORGAN: Quite extraordinary, Bill, that you would finish the race. But not entirely unsurprising. You're 78 years old, you have run in 45 marathons. This I think was your third Boston Marathon.
When you got back to your hotel and began to realize the scale of the disaster that unfold, what was your reaction?
IFFRIG: Well, I guess I kind of mulled it over a little bit by then and wasn't -- I didn't know what was going on. I kind of wondered it might be a terrorist plot or something. The way it went off, a big bomb going off, that doesn't happen every day. So but as far as the way I was feeling, why, I felt very good.
MORGAN: Have you been aware, Bill, that your -- the pictures of you have gone around the world? Have you been getting calls and had people trying to contact you?
IFFRIG: I've had a lot of contacts here, yes, since today's incident, you mean?
MORGAN: I want to bring in --
IFFRIG: I've been approached --
MORGAN: I want to bring in, Bill, if I may, the photographer that took the pictures of you, the still images that have gone around the world's media. His name is John Tlumacki.
John, would you like to talk to Bill and tell him what you saw?
TLUMACKI: I just -- I feel bad for Bill that he couldn't enjoy his marathon finish. I mean, what a way to end a marathon, with a bomb blast. I mean, think of all those thousands of people who come to the Boston Marathon every year, and especially like Bill, who, you know, this is a -- this is a Boston treasure. I mean, this is something that may never be the same for us. And I'm just so saddened by what happened and I -- my images are haunting to me and they're haunting to everybody else and it's just too bad it couldn't be, you know, the regular joyous, celebratory images that I take all the time for "The Globe." MORGAN: Yes, Bill, I mean, it is utterly heartbreaking that such a joyous event, one of Boston's great days of the year, has turned into such a terrible atrocity today.
What are your feelings about the people or the persons that perpetrated this act?
IFFRIG: Yes, I thought about that myself, because it's just -- everybody else is out there having fun and you got one or two people that are trying to destroy the whole thing. It's just hard to figure out. Terrorists or whatever they are, I don't know, I don't have much use for.
MORGAN: Will you continue to run marathons after this, Bill?
IFFRIG: Oh, yes. I don't stop for this. Yes.
MORGAN: You think that should be the attitude of everyone in America, to what has happened?
IFFRIG: Oh, well, I don't know. Something like this, I can't imagine it happening again, but there's always a chance of it.
MORGAN: John Tlumacki and Bill Iffrig, thank you both very much indeed.
IFFRIG: You're welcome.
TLUMACKI: Thank you.
IFFRIG: Thank you.
MORGAN: I am now being joined on the phone by the man who shot the extraordinary video of the moment of the explosion that we saw earlier, Steve Silva. He's a Web producer for "The Boston Globe."
Steve Silva, quite extraordinary video. As you were taking it, what was going through your mind?
STEVE SILVA, WEB PRODUCER, BOSTON GLOBE: Well, Piers, I'm on the finish line at that point and I'm just taking the late finishers of which there were another 9,000 people still yet to cross the finish line. And that's the time you get all the charity runners and just people having a fun time. And I'm just waiting to see somebody do a cartwheel or do some pushups on the finish line, something fun for the video.
And right at 2:50 p.m., just as I'm shooting straight on, off to the right-hand side of me on Boylston right at the corner of (INAUDIBLE) was this loud thud explosion and you just saw the smoke shoot straight up in the air. So for a split second, I thought there's some type of cannon like celebrating one of the elite runners, you know, coming across or something like that.
But you knew it was something and as we started running toward it, we heard the second explosion probably within 15 seconds later, another block up the street on the corner of Boylston and Fairfield Street. Apparently we knew something was wrong. And as we approach the scene it was right out of a movie, Piers. There was just blood across the sidewalk.
There was cuts everywhere. A pane of glass blew out of the marathon sports shop. And I'm understanding there's bomb damage the way it shot ball bearings and was low to the ground. So I did see a gentleman with his leg severed off at the knee. And there was just other body parts. It was just a horrific, horrific scene.
MORGAN: And, Steve, you've obviously covered many events like this in your time. Nothing as horrific as this. Did you see any increased security at all during the day? There have been some reports there were sniffer dogs around certain parts of the track earlier in the day but that may have been just normal security procedure.
SILVA: Yes, I bet it's all probably normal. I started the day at the starting line at Hopkinton at 5:30 this morning and then I came in to cover the finish line. But I had my credential, I was out there on the finish line and everything was going along fine. It was no different than any other year. Partitions were up between the spectators and the course, you know, trying to keep the finish line clear for the runners.
There was a police presence everywhere. We have the governor in the stands, the police commissioner was in the stands. Right across where the explosion took place, probably they were sitting there about an hour before. It was probably about an hour after they (INAUDIBLE). But no, I didn't see anything unusual in terms of police presence or security.
MORGAN: Steve Silva, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
I'm being joined now by Fran Townsend and Paul Cruickshank.
This is an awful day for Boston, for America, for the world. There were so many countries represented in this race.
Tell me what we know, Fran. Do we know any hard evidence yet that could lead us to a potential suspect?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there are clearly persons of interest. We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to, and investigative leads are being run. But we should be clear with our viewers, Piers, the fact that someone's a person of interest, that can go either way. Either the leads will get run and the person will be cleared, or the person may be later, if they are confirmed, made a suspect. But there will be many persons of interest and interviews done, surveillance camera video looked at. There will be forensics done, and that's the break they're looking for. But I suspect there's an awful lot of evidence, and I suspect you will see developments in the next 24 hours. MORGAN: Paul Cruikshank, from all that you've seen and heard so far, where is it leading your head as to potentially what is behind this?
PAUL CRUIKSHANK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We just don't know who was responsible for this, Piers. We don't know if it was Islamist terrorism, some form of right-wing terrorism, another form of terrorism. We still need answers to all of that. But the investigation will proceed. They will look at the forensics at some of these recovered devices, and they may be able to sort of see the signature of the explosives. Are they similar to the type of bombs used by, say, al Qaeda or other groups. That may start to provide some answers, Piers.
MORGAN: Fran, I heard you say earlier the fact these weren't big devices would perhaps suggest it isn't an al Qaeda operation, that they would go for a more dramatic impact with the devices. Also, there are these ball bearings we now know have been used. Any significance to that?
TOWNSEND: Well, you know, Piers, here in New York, we had this disrupted subway plot which was, in fact, al Qaeda related and it involved backpack bombs. These explosions, while horrific and have caused horrific injury, what we're hearing from law enforcement sources are that they were not terribly sophisticated. They were small. It would have been much worse if it was a higher explosive like C-4 or plastic explosive.
So you just can't really tell yet. We don't know enough about the forensics to know was this a domestic terrorist group? It's possible, right? We've seen things like Oklahoma City, that tragedy. So it could be a domestic group. Law enforcement has been careful to say that's the question they can't answer tonight, domestic or foreign.
MORGAN: And very important, Paul, isn't it to do that because there are so many rumors are swirling around. We live in an era now of Twitter, Facebook. A rumor goes round the world in a few seconds and can be very damaging. Is that why the president, you think, was quite circumspect in the use of language? Didn't mention terrorism at all, in fact.
CRUICKSHANK: That's obviously right. They want to be absolutely sure what they're dealing with before kind of getting ahead of it. What can be said, looking at past plots, is al Qaeda as a group has encouraged the use of ball bearings. They have trained operatives to use ball bearings. They've also encouraged people on the Internet, on the online bomb recipes they put out to use ball bearings. But that doesn't mean al Qaeda was involved at all. So, you kind of look at the history of some of the previous plots and start to kind of put a piece of the puzzle together.
MORGAN: Stay with us for a moment. I will go to CNN's Jason Carroll at Brigham and Women's University. Jason, what can you tell me about what's going on at the hospital there? JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, Piers, the hospital is on lockdown. A hospital spokesperson telling me they are doing this out of an abundance of caution. They are not confirming at this point from the hospital about that so-called Saudi national that is being at least questioned by some reports here at the hospital.
I can also tell you that in speaking to some of the nurses and seeing some of the doctors that have come out of the hospital, describing it as just being a very emotional day. At this point, Piers, 28 patients here at the hospital being treated. The most common types of injuries that they're seeing are bone injuries, tissue injuries. Also injuries to the head. One of the hospital attendants who came out just a short while ago saying in the very beginning when patients started coming in, he described it as droves of ambulances coming here to the hospital, six at a time.
Of the patients that are here, eight to ten of them are in serious condition. Two are in critical condition. In fact, nine patients are in surgery right now as we speak. Two of those victims have the types of injuries that could be described as limb- threatening. That again according to a hospital spokesperson. The youngest patient that was here earlier today, Piers, was just three years old. That young child then transferred to Boston Children's Hospital.
But once again, what you really get the sense of is the fact that so many of the people here, whether it be victims here, nurses coming out of the hospital, runners who we ran into earlier today, just sort of this sense of being stunned, emotionally stunned, trying to absorb everything that has happened here in Boston. Piers?
MORGAN: Thanks very much. I want to bring in Dr. Alan Painter and his wife, Theresa. Alan Painter is a doctor at the E.R., Boston -- treating the Boston Marathon victims today. His wife actually ran in the marathon today. An extraordinary day for the family. Welcome to you, Dr. Painter. Can you tell me when you first heard what had happened today?
DR. ALAN PAINTER, TREATING BOSTON MARATHON VICTIMS: I was standing about 20, 25 feet from the initial blast, so I knew immediately what was going on.
MORGAN: Obviously you knew that your wife Theresa was running. Your first thoughts I guess must have been where on earth she was and was she safe.
PAINTER: It was. And I would like to commend the Boston Athletic Association and the police, paramedics here, they did an outstanding job. My wife was about two-tenths of a mile from the finish line and they pushed her back from the second blast area so it was pretty impressive, their response.
MORGAN: Theresa, you were running in the marathon. You were near the finishing line. What was your reaction when you heard the first explosion go off? THERESA PAINTER, BOSTON MARATHON RUNNER: Well, I really wasn't paying attention and then when I heard the bomb and saw the reaction of the spectators, I was just alarmed. And then I was pushed back by a spectator, and Boston Athletic officials grabbed a bunch of us and pushed us back. So it was pretty upsetting.
MORGAN: And Dr. Painter, you actually went to the Harris Regional Medical Center, I believe. Is that right? Were you treating people there today?
DR. PAINTER: No. I was treating people on the streets and assisted transferring them into the medical tent. I work in Harris Regional Medical Center in (INAUDIBLE) North Carolina.
MORGAN: So you were actually treating people on the streets. What were you seeing? What was the type of injury, how many people did you see injured there?
DR. PAINTER: I saw at least six to seven people down next to me. They protected me from the blast. One lady expired, one lady -- one gentleman lost both his limbs, lower extremities. Most of the injuries were lower extremities. I could not figure out why the young lady had expired, could not find any injury on her thorax. The other people I saw were mainly lower extremity injuries.
MORGAN: Have you ever seen injuries like this in your time working in Boston?
DR. PAINTER: No. I have not had experience with blast injuries in the past. I'm not military, so basically I'm used to more gunshot wounds.
MORGAN: Theresa, you have lived in Boston since 1985. Many people today have said the great saying about this day is it's called the best day in Boston. Clearly today it's become one of the worst days in Boston. What is the reaction, do you think, of the people of Boston to what's happened?
THERESA PAINTER: Well, I think including myself, I think everybody's really sad. This is a fun day. It's Patriots Day. I've been to Boston many years, and for something like this to happen is very, you know, terrifying and sad. That's the reaction we were told to stay back for about an hour or so, so I didn't have any contact with Alan to see that he was okay. So, it was very hard on me and I'm sure it was on him as well to make sure we were both safe. But the reaction of most runners were they were just sad and glad we were kept safe, but sad for the people that were affected.
MORGAN: I'm very glad that you are safe, Theresa Painter and your husband, Dr. Alan Painter. Thank you both very much for joining me.
DR. PAINTER: Pleasure.
MORGAN: I want to bring in Boston Globe reporter David Abel, who was ten feet away from one of the explosions. David, a horrific incident to have happened in Boston today. You, I believe, have covered war zones in the past. Was this akin to some of the things you've witnessed on battlefields?
DAVID ABEL, BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER: Yes. I would say that this is more horrific than anything I have actually had to witness close up. It was just the intimacy of the pain and the graphicness, which was -- which was seared into my mind right now.
I was about, as you said, ten feet from the explosion standing in the center of the finish line, taking video as the runners came in. And all of a sudden, I heard a massive boom, and then I saw a cloud of white smoke. And it took a little while in that few moments of disorientation to sort of make out what had happened, and really became clear about seven seconds later, I believe, when the second blast went off and we realized that there was an attack.
MORGAN: Obviously one of the major fears when that happens is of other secondary devices and indeed, we believe there were other devices which didn't explode. Was that going through your mind?
ABEL: You know, after the initial explosion, for me, it was a little unclear as to what happened. There was a lot of smoke. It could have been a malfunctioning machine, it could have been a gas explosion. But as soon as the smoke cleared, it was clear that there was serious carnage. There were people in a large pile, it looked to me, with blood and shattered glass all around.
MORGAN: David Abel, thank you very much indeed for joining me. Thank god you're alive and SO many others who were so lucky today who were in that vicinity but were not badly injured or killed. Thank you for joining me.
ABEL: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up next, what Washington is doing to find those responsible for this horrific attack. And then a stop to Sanjay Gupta on what it would take to save lives tonight.
MORGAN: Increased security across the country tonight in response to today's bombings. Where does the investigation stand tonight? Joining me is chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin and CNN crime and justice correspondent, Joe Johns. Welcome to you both.
Jessica, the president was very careful with his words. He didn't mention terror or terrorism, but I believe the White House has been briefing, and they view it as a terror attack.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Piers. Shortly after the president made his statement in which you're correct, he avoided using that word, I spoke with a White House official who said that they want to be clear that the White House clearly views an event like this in which multiple explosive devices appear to have been used, that was their language, this is as clearly a terror attack. That was their exact phrase.
But investigators have to determine whether it was carried out by a terrorist or terrorist organization. So they are differentiating between what they call an act of terror in which individuals, Americans are killed, and harmed, and an investigation that determines that terrorists are individuals involved with those organizations were engaged in this activity.
So, they're trying to make a political and messaging distinction from an investigation term of art. And that -- I've talked to a couple of Republicans this evening, Piers, who say they actually appreciate and understand why the president was careful not to use that word. One even pointed to a 2007 incident in New York City where there was a lot of supposition that there could have been a terrorist incident, and it turned out it was a pipe that exploded.
Obviously, this is a different situation. The reporting makes that clear. But it suggests why the president of the United States has to be very careful in the hours after an incident to be as cautious as possible, and that's exactly what the president was doing, Piers.
MORGAN: Joe, the FBI have taken charge of the investigation tonight. I guess one of the first concerns will be are there more bombings being planned around America, perhaps in other cities. We've noticed in New York heightened tension certainly, lot of sirens going off, a lot of big monuments having more protection around them and so on, which would be standard procedure, I guess, when this happens in any major city in America. But what are you picking up from the White House about this, anything?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Picking up from law enforcement authorities in the government that, across this country, a number of selected cities are actually beefing up their security presence in light of what has happened in Boston. In New York City, for example, also here in Washington, D.C., as far west as San Francisco, police in all of those places taking a closer look at their security. Because frankly, when you think about this, talking to law enforcement authorities, Piers, this is the kind of situation that law enforcement and other first responders train for, this huge mass casualty situation involving terrorism, but surprisingly, it really hasn't happened in this country in any great degree since 9/11.
So they feel a bit lucky that up until this day, this bad thing hasn't happened. But now they have to face it and they have to face it in cities all across America.
MORGAN: Joe Johns and Jessica Yellin, for now, thank you both very much. I want to turn to CNN contributor Juliette Kayyem, she's also a terrorism analyst, and CNN contributor Paul Cruickshank, and CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend and Rafi Ron, who is the president of New Age Security Solutions, and the former director of security at Tel Aviv Airport. Welcome to you all.
Let me start, if I may, with you Juliette Kayyem. You are the former U.S. assistant secretary for homeland security. How serious a blow is this to America's ongoing war on terror?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I think it's just too early to tell. I think one of the important aspects of the post-9/11 world is also the ways in which we have become much more resilient to these kinds of attacks. We know the terrorist threat has changed. It is like whack-a-mole or it could be foreign terrorists, individual foreign terrorists. It could be domestic terrorists. We're reserving judgment right now.
So really the measure of a society is not simply is it attacked or not, because we know that we are vulnerable. We know that we're an open society. We know that we love watching the Boston Marathon. It's really how do we respond. I think in that regard, this has been pretty remarkable. I mean, in the sense of how quickly they could get the runners off of that street, on to Commonwealth Avenue, they could get people together with their families, and that the investigation has already started just about half a block away.
I think that's how you measure success, can you bounce back. And I think in that regard, it is looking pretty good so far.
MORGAN: Rafi Ron, you have had to be responsible for security in places like Tel Aviv Airport and so on. Was this a soft target, do you think? And as a result, will all events of this nature, future marathons in America -- there is one this weekend in Salt Lake. Will they all have to now be submitted to much higher degrees of security?
RAFI RON, CEO, NEW AGE SECURITY SOLUTIONS: Well, I think that we have to get used to the idea that when we fight terrorism, there's no 100 percent protection that we can provide the public. What we are facing is a process that we have witnessed in many other parts of the world, too. This is when you start protecting your high value targets, terrorists don't give up. They simply go to choose other targets that were not considered as high value as they were before.
So when we started the implementing better security on airports and in the aviation system and in other high profile locations, obviously there are thousands of other locations that remain vulnerable and become even more vulnerable. So this is kind of a -- I would say a competition between us and the terrorists that goes on and on with tragic result, as we have seen today.
MORGAN: Fran Townsend, the FBI are obviously raking over any possible clue. Two areas I would imagine would be extremely useful, closed circuit video, of which there was a lot in this area, and also cell phones, because all cell phones were locked down pretty quickly, presumably to try to stop them using them to trigger any devices. That indeed was what they were doing, he or she, the suspect. We don't know who it is, obviously. In terms of how they go forward, are those two areas going to be key?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Those two, and I would add one more, Piers. I would also add any of the forensic data that can be gleaned from the bomb site. So any -- the container that may have contained the bomb. If they've got unexploded, undetonated devices, any DNA, fingerprints, anything you can get off there to link it to an individual or to a group, to look at whether or not there's a signature in terms of the construction of the device. All that will be critical to them solving who perpetrated it and why. MORGAN: Paul, we don't actually know as a fact yet -- it's been reported by "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" tonight that there were maybe up to three more devices which were unexploded. Some of them may have been detonated by police later. But we don't really know yet. How important could that be? Because could they have, from those devices, if they got there in time and could study them -- can that be a key lead, as Fran was suggesting, to getting to where this came from?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The more devices there were, the more ambitious this attack would have been, maybe more people would have been involved but it's not impossible that a lone wolf could do this. We saw in Norway two years ago, one guy, Andres Breivik, launched two attacks in two different locations. So one guy can do a lot.
But all these sorts of things will provide a lot of clues. And the forensics on these recovered devices will be absolutely key. I spoke to an explosive expert just a little while ago. Within minutes if not hours, they can get some sort of idea of the types of materials inside. And that will be absolutely crucial.
Also, they will be looking very closely if there's a claim of responsibility that's posted by some group.
MORGAN: Juliette Kayyem, there have been reports that there's a Saudi national currently in hospital who was injured, who is being talked to by the authorities. We don't know in what capacity. Certainly not considered a suspect as yet. How significant could that be?
KAYYEM: Well, Ed Davis, the police commissioner who I have worked with a lot of years I think debunked that, said that everyone in the hospital is being questioned. Remember, there was a Saudi woman who was injured. So what we don't know is that through all of this reporting, those two story lines got converged. I'm pretty cautious about stuff like this, remembering the Oklahoma bombing when it was famously reported that four men in Arab garb were responsible for it.
So that's why I think it's important to sort of be cautious on who are they interviewing yet, because the rumors tend to all merge together. And it's important to just sort of let the story line figure out where it's going and then let the forensics sort of lead to the suspects. I'm pretty confident we have about 24 or 48 hours before a big break, only because there are so many cameras here.
MORGAN: Fran Townsend, it's also Patriots Day holiday today, commemorates the first battle of the Revolutionary War, April 1776. Could that be a potential area of investigation? Could it be somebody using that as some reason to make a point?
TOWNSEND: Oh, Piers, it's also April 15th is tax day, where we pay our taxes. April 19th, Friday, is the anniversary both of the Oklahoma City Bombing, which Juliette just mentioned, and also the Waco raid. None of these are connected, right, but could any one of those lead you in the direction of a domestic group? Most certainly. You can be sure investigators are looking at all those potential connections to see in what direction, when you pull it all together, the facts lead them.
MORGAN: Paul, although we don't know yet, very quickly, how soon would you expect us to have a much clearer idea?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, it's difficult to tell how the investigation is going to go. But the forensics will be absolutely key. Maybe there will be some sort of claim of responsibility. Maybe somebody will be brought into custody that can shed light on what happened. But there's a huge effort right now under way, Piers.
MORGAN: I want to bring in Tami Hughes on the phone, who just crossed the finish line when the explosions went off. Tami, a terrifying experience for you.
TAMI HUGHES, PARTICIPATED IN BOSTON MARATHON: Just awful.
MORGAN: How are you? Tell me what you saw and how you felt about it.
HUGHES: Well, I had just come across the finish line and I was sort of lingering a few feet beyond it, trying to catch my breath and regain some sort of muscle feel. And my husband was running behind me. So I was squinting to see if I could see whether he was 20 seconds behind, 20 minutes behind, I didn't know. I probably walked about 20 feet -- 25 feet from the finish line when I heard the deafening explosion.
Immediately, I didn't know if it was a small aircraft going into the building, or then I thought maybe it was some sort of celebratory cannon or -- you know, sometimes in parades you have guns going off. I just didn't know. I turned around and immediately saw the whitish- brownish smoke billowing up four or five stories and I couldn't believe that. You know, could it be a bomb? And I stared at it and about five or seven seconds later, when the second one went off, I knew immediately that it was something coerced or coordinated or organized, because I had been a part of -- down in the financial center, 9/11.
So you immediately go back to those moments where OK, where is the third one going to be. So at that point, officials started getting everyone out of the marathon path, telling them to get away, get away as fast as you can. So I just ran to my hotel, which was at the Westin.
MORGAN: One of the incredibly poignant aspects of all this today is that the event in itself, the Boston Marathon, the 26th mile of the event was being honored in the memory of the victims of Newtown, the 26 who lost their lives there. In fact, there were family members from Newtown there. Were you aware of that? What do you feel about somebody that would target such an event, knowing that people like that are there and that so many of the runners from all over the world are raising huge amounts of money for charity? HUGHES: It's the devastating part about it, especially for Newtown which is not too far from my hometown. And you know, I went to high school with one of the mothers of the victims. So it was even more -- had a greater impact on me knowing that. I did not know they were sitting at the finish line until after the fact. I knew that the race was being -- you know, was in their honor. But having found out that they were right there is devastating. It's sickening that they would have to go celebrate such an amazing charity event and to have to almost go through the terror all over again.
MORGAN: It is absolutely sickening. Tami Hughes, I'm so glad you're OK. Thank you so much for joining me.
HUGHES: Thank you.
MORGAN: We'll take a short break and be right back with more breaking news on the appalling Boston marathon bombing.
MORGAN: Boston hospitals are reporting at least 141 people are being treated tonight with at least 17 in critical condition and 25 in serious condition. Eight of the patients are children. The injuries are horrific.
Joining me now is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with more. Sanjay, an appalling, appalling tragedy. What do we know about the likelihood of more fatalities and more importantly, hopefully, people who can be saved tonight from injuries that you know of?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN'S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: Well, if there was any good news in all this, it's that there was a lot of medical triage sort of at the site, as you have been talking about as well. These ambulances being able to get these 140 some victims to nine different hospitals. Most of the injuries, again, appear to be of the lower extremities, suggesting an explosive force that was pretty low to the ground. But also, there's been at least several patients that we have been hearing about now from hospitals that have had multiple organs in their body involved. And that's probably as a result of the shrapnel injuries in addition to the blast injuries.
So these 17 critically injured patients, Piers, little bit of context on that is that they are patients who their vital signs may be unstable; they are in an intensive care unit, often on a breathing machine. So they are the ones that are obviously the most critical, but they are also literally fighting for their lives tonight. So we hope those numbers don't go up. But those are the patients that everyone is focused on.
MORGAN: Sanjay, thanks for now. I want to bring in Chris Cuomo now, who is live in Boston. Chris, bring me up to speed with the latest developments.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Here's what we know, Piers. Obviously this is a very fluid situation. You had local police here working, city and state authorities. Now you have the federal authorities here, Joint Terrorism Task Force. The ATF is sending people here. It's a big deal. It is going to get all of the different resources they can.
There is nobody named as a suspect or a person of interest that we understand and that we're comfortable reporting at this time. We know that there is someone they're looking at in the hospital, who may have been injured during the event. We know there's been a call out for someone they may be looking at with a certain description because of their behavior very close to the time of the event.
More important right now, Piers, is what they're doing to gather information. Not only are they in a really difficult search. Remember, when this happened, Piers, there were so many people who had backpacks, fanny packs, bags with them, that dropped them and ran. They have been searching those all day long. Very good sources all day have been telling us, hey, we think we have three devices, five devices, six devices. Thankfully, many of them turned out to be packages that were suspicious but not explosive ordnance. And that's a very good sign for what they're doing.
The other point is that they have cell tower information. They have closed circuit televisions. This city is very well wired, Boston, Piers, so they're getting all the information now as they move forward. The bombs tell a lot of the story, because they will be able to trace, does this have the signature, so to speak, of a certain bomb maker, a certain organization. The cell phone towers, the call logs, who was calling whom and when, very painstaking but can be very revealing. But to say right now, Piers, they know who they're after would be misleading.
MORGAN: Chris for now, thanks very much indeed. I want to go to professional running coach now Fred Treseler, who has trained over 3,000 people to run the Boston Marathon. Mr. Treseler, thank you for joining me. An awful day for you and everyone that loves the Boston Marathon. It's one of the world's great running events. What is your reaction to what's happened?
FRED TRESELER, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, TRACS: It is a terrible day for the city of Boston, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for our country and for the sport of running globally. It's just a terrible blow. And it's really just -- we're all I think in a situation where the tragedy, the loss of life that's already been reported, the injuries has created kind of a shock, if you will, that has certainly permeated all parts of our community.
You know, what we do know at this moment, Piers, is that we've heard lots of different statistics about how many injured, et cetera. But here's what we do know and I'm happy to share with you. There are 23,326 people officially started the race this morning; and 17,584 crossed the finish line; 4,496 made it to the 40 kilometer mark but are unaccounted for because they were held up from coming in to Boylston Street, into the Copley Square area, and to properly cross the finish line.
Another 1,246 never even made it to the 40 kilometer mark. So the good news is that 17,584 got across the finish line safely and that the BAA, Boston Athletic Association, the Boston Police, did a fantastic job. I have worked with the Elite Athlete Program for the sponsor. I have worked with them for 25 years in the past. They have tremendous plans in place for something like this. And the way that the race was suspended so quickly and how they so quickly kept people from coming down into Boylston Street where they could be at risk or in danger was absolutely fantastic.
And I think the Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Police and the State Police deserve tremendous credit for how they handled this when it occurred.
MORGAN: They certainly do. Probably saved a lot more death and injury as a result of their rapid actions. To me, the guy that sums up the kind of stoicism, indeed heroism of the whole event, was the man I interviewed earlier, Bill Iffrig, 78 years old. He's run 45 marathons. He was blown off his feet in images that have gone round the world and he just got back up and finished the race. What did you make of that, Fred?
TRESELER: You know, I think he speaks a lot to the spirit of the marathon and the connection that so many people feel to this particular run and this particular distance. And you know, I feel terribly for the people, obviously as we all do, who have been injured and maimed or killed by this terrible, terrible, senseless attack. But I also feel for the thousands of people who trained for months, who raised money for- charities, who, you know, maybe this was their first marathon they had ever run and they're running it as a charity member. And then all of a sudden, you know, they can't get to the finish line or that their experience in crossing the finish line is marred by this terrible tragedy.
Think about, Farita Jeptu (ph) from Kenya and for Lalisa Danisa (ph) from Ethiopian, tomorrow would have been the day that they would have been heralded in the front pages of our local newspapers. Tomorrow, the front pages will be about this awful tragedy, as it should be. And those two athletes have been robbed, as well, of their moment in history by this terrible thing.
MORGAN: Finally, Fred, will there be a Boston Marathon next year?
TRESELER: The Boston Marathon has endured two world wars and many other things. I remember working with the Elite Athlete Program after September 11th, and the different things that were put in place to deal with that. I am quite sure that there will be a Boston Marathon next year. But for certain, the Boston Marathon has been changed forever.
MORGAN: It certainly has. Fred Treseler, thank you so much for joining me.
TRESELER: You are welcome. And please, to all of your viewers, please share your thoughts and prayers with those in Boston tonight.
MORGAN: Indeed. Thank you so much. Fran Townsend, before we go to a quick break, a quick question for you, if it had been a foreign organization, terrorist group that had done this, would you expect them to claim responsibility by now?
TOWNSEND: Not clear, Piers. The whole communication apparatus would depend on what small piece of which group is it, al Qaeda in Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula. Is it Al Nusla, the Iraq/Syrian al Qaeda group. The question really becomes which group is it? You don't know this. And all of this will become clearer as they develop the various pieces of the investigation.
MORGAN: Very important to stress, once again, that we just don't know, don't know who did this, whether it was an individual, whether it was an American, a foreigner. We just have no clue at the moment. And we'll just have to wait for the authorities to get those facts.
When we come back, more witnesses to the day's horror at the Boston Marathon.
MORGAN: More breaking news from the Boston Marathon. We're going to turn to two more eye witnesses to today's carnage. Matt Frucci is a CNN executive producer. His brother ran the marathon. Tom Beusse had just finished. He was 150 yards from the deadly explosion. He's president of "USA Today" Sports Media Group.
Welcome to you both. Matt Frucci, obviously you're more -- can you hear me, matt?
MATT FRUCCI, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: I can hear you, yes.
MORGAN: Matt, you're obviously more used to covering these kind of events from a news perspective. What was it like for you to be caught up in such a horrific incident?
FRUCCI: It was quite terrifying. I mean, we were there. We were celebrating. There's a lot of great energy in the crowd. Everyone was cheering. I was waiting for my brother, who was probably a good half hour away. That's when the first explosion went off. And there was about a ten-second lull. We all wondered what was that? It was about 100 yards from us. And the second explosion went off. And that was about 20 yards from us. And that's when we knew something was going on and something was awful.
It was a mad scramble of people. And it was just panic. I've covered those stories of panic, where people are trampling each other. And there was a quick moment when I dropped my cell phone, I went down to grab it, and in my mind, I thought this is one of those instances where people get trampled to death. That's what happens in these. But thankfully I was able to get it, and you just keep on moving. I sort of got moved into a building off of the street and I was able to pull my parents in, as well.
So -- but we sort of sat there not knowing if there was a third explosion on not. We knew there was one. We knew there was two. We were just sort of waiting to see if there was a third. So there was a lot of fear in that room.
MORGAN: Tom, you just finished the raise. Obviously, I would imagine like all runners when you finish a marathon, huge relief, celebration perhaps. Then suddenly utter carnage.
TOM BEUSSE, "USA TODAY" SPORTS MEDIA GROUP: Yes, more or less. I had been over the finish line three or four minutes and was going through the aftermath and getting a medal and a bit of food and a drink. And suddenly as we were stumbling around, there was this explosion. We all looked back very quickly, trying to understand exactly what was going on. Pretty quickly everybody realized it was a problem. Nobody knew exactly what.
And then the Boston Police were pretty much immediately on the scene, began to shuffle us all out of there, called it a crime scene and immediately whisked us away.
MORGAN: Matt, what do you think this will do to a great American sporting event like this?
FRUCCI: You know, as a Massachusetts resident, Patriots Day is a huge thing. You get the day off from school. A lot of people don't go to work. It's opening day at Fenway, at the Boston Marathon. It's a huge, joyful experience that I guess, yes, now has this awful taint to it.
BEUSSE: I think it's actually challenging because there's -- you know, 70 percent or so of the people running are running for a cause. And what's really unsettling is that this may keep people from coming out to do that in the future. That's what is so sad about this.
MORGAN: They mustn't do that. I think, knowing Americans, it won't. If anything, I'm sure people will redouble their charitable efforts in future events like this. But for now, Matt Frucci and Tom Beusse, thank you both very much indeed.
Until today, the worst terror attack at a sporting event in America was at the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. Two people were killed. More than 100 were hurt. It led to major changes in security at sporting events. Joining me now is Dan Donovan who worked on security during the Atlanta Summer Olympics.
Welcome to you, Mr. Donovan. What do you think? Is this going to dramatically change the way that events like the Boston Marathon will have to be handled in the future?
DAN DONOVAN, SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDEPOST SOLUTIONS: Well, Piers, open course events like a marathon or non-stadium events certainly have these risks. They're known when they go into them. The authorities have done a phenomenal amount of work preparing for these events. And now they're going to look at it and say, what are we going to do different? What should we do? Should we finish in stadiums? Should we finish in enclosed areas? And they're going to go from there.
But there's a lot of work to be done to understand what happened here and what's going to happen next.
MORGAN: We've got the London Marathon next weekend and also the Salt Lake City Marathon. Would you be advising them to go ahead?
DONOVAN: I think it depends on the risk profile. Authorities have looked a at it, as did the authorities in Boston. And they're looking at what are the imminent risks that they know of. And they're going to look at what areas can they shut down and make more exclusive and make more secure. And then they're going to look at that risk profile and say, we think that we can make it a secure event or we don't think we can make it a secure event and the risk is too great.
I think that there's plenty of professionals involved that need to look into the prevention process. They need to look into the planning, the communication, the sources of intelligence that they're getting and figure out how are they going to best prepare for these events and make sure that they're safe for the public.
MORGAN: As you were talking there, we've -- looking at images from New York City, massively increased security at places like Times Square, as you would imagine, I guess an automatic reaction to what's happened, but still extremely sad to have to witness them. Dan Donovan, thank you very much for joining me.
DONOVAN: Thank you, Piers. And thoughts and prayers to all the victims.
MORGAN: And for those just joining us, the death toll has risen to three in the Boston Marathon; 141 others have been injured, many of them seriously. Fights going on right now to save many lives in hospitals in Boston. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with everyone involved in this ghastly atrocity, not least the families from Newtown who had gone there to honor the memories of their loved ones at the 26th mile of this race.
What an appalling double tragedy for them. That's all for us right now. We'll be back at midnight with the latest developments on today's breaking news from the Boston Marathon. Now our team coverage continues live with Anderson Cooper in Boston.