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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Police Give Update on London Terror Attacks; London Terror; Interview With Rudy Giuliani
Aired July 8, 2005 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning.
I'm Soledad O'Brien.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Miles O'Brien.
Welcome to a special edition of AMERICAN MORNING.
We're live on two developing stories this morning.
O'BRIEN: Obviously, the terrorist attacks in London our top story, as investigators there try to figure out just who's behind Thursday's deadly bombings.
There's a news conference that's going to begin momentarily. We're going to bring that to you when it happens.
Also, here is a big question in the U.S. -- could an attack on mass transit, our commuter buses and trains, could it happen here? The latest on what's being done to upgraded security as millions of Americans begin their Friday morning commute.
M. O'BRIEN: And the story breaking overnight, changing overnight, the hurricane wobbling and strengthening. Hurricane Dennis now a category four storm. Winds at 135 miles an hour.
Chad Myers is very busy this morning tracking Dennis and giving us a sense of what is going on with that.
Now, as we wait for a news conference out of London, let's look at the latest developments for you.
A massive hunt is underway now for whomever unleashed 56 minutes of terror in the heart of London. It's the bloodiest day in London since World War 2. Thirty-seven were killed, 700 injured. The number of dead is expected to rise.
Investigators believe they found fragments of timing devices in the train attacks, but none on the bus. Some have speculated the bus might have been a -- not have been a target at all, suggesting that bomb could have gone off accidentally as it was being taken somewhere else.
Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, blames Islamic militants for the attacks. Police say they had no warning of the attacks and no one has called to claim responsibility. One previously unknown group did claim responsibility in the name of al Qaeda, but experts are being cautious about that claim.
In London today, unaffected underground lines back in service. Buses are running normally outside the crime scene areas. People have been told to go about their business normally, but stay away from London's city center. All in all, a very quiet, tense commute, however.
John Vause outside St. Mary's Hospital in London -- John, I know Prince Charles is inside the hospital.
Tell us about that visit, first of all.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You want to try and take it, right?
M. O'BRIEN: John Vause, are you there?
M. O'BRIEN: John Vause, can you hear me?
All right, we'll try to establish contact with John Vause in just a little bit.
We'll get back to him -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: Then let's move on to talk about the G8 summit. The world's most powerful leaders are trying to put the terrorist attacks behind them right now. They want to forge ahead with the final day of the Group Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.
We've been talking about that yesterday.
More on that in just a moment.
First, though, let's take a look at some business news this morning and get right to Mary Snow -- Mary, good morning.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.
And, you know, we're outside of Penn Station, where roughly about 600,000 commuters come in and out of here every day -- commuter trains from the suburbs, subways, also Amtrak. New Yorkers waking up this morning so far feeling pretty resilient. I asked a number of them if they had felt concern about getting on trains this morning and, you know, many New Yorkers say it's always in the back of their minds, but they are determined to go ahead.
They also say they are comforted by the extra security. And yesterday we heard from New York City's mayor, governor and the police commissioner, who says that the police department will have an officer on every subway. Also, ferries, for instance, are being accompanied by Coast Guard patrol boats. And people are saying yes, they are being a little extra cautious looking around.
Also, the NYPD has sent four detectives to London to their counter-terrorism office to exchange information there.
So people on alert, but New York also saying yesterday that subway ridership was normal -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: You know, they said that, but I have to tell you, when I was taking the subway yesterday, Mary, I actually thought it was just kind of weird and quiet.
Are you getting that same sense in Penn Station, where it usually is busy and bustling and very noisy? What's the tone?
SNOW: It certainly is a bit subdued and, you know, really not -- the rush hour hasn't geared up all that much. So the people I did talk to are certainly aware and cautious. And everyone has kept saying that it is always in the back of their minds. And, of course, it was brought to the forefront yesterday and pretty -- a number of people said they were pretty nervous.
And I did talk to some people who said that they just couldn't get on a subway yesterday. They took a cab or a subway.
But many, most people I talked to were saying, you know, there really are no other choices and they have to keep on living. And one woman I spoke to had her children getting ready to go on an Amtrak train. She said the only thing she can do at this point is to be more observant.
So certainly there is a tone of caution.
O'BRIEN: You know, but I'd be curious, then, about that, because I found -- and certainly after 9/11, when people would say, well, you know, be more vigilant, don't change what you do but be more vigilant, it was kind of confusing advice. You know, how do you continue to live on as normal when things have really changed?
Are you finding that people you're talking to are expressing the same sort of confusion?
SNOW: You know what? We're kind of in acceptance that this is a new way of life. And, you know, I talked to a 9/11 survivor yesterday who got on the train and said, you know, this is just something that has become a daily part of life to have this kind of thought in your mind that there could be the potential for a terrorist attack.
But one thing that a number of people said, that the one thing they could do and they felt they could be in control of is actually being alert. And they felt that that helped them. They also said they were comforted by police, the extra police that they are seeing.
O'BRIEN: Mary Snow for us.
Mary, we should mention -- thanks for that.
And we should mention that we're looking right now at a Scotland Yard press conference. They're going to update the public and the media, as well, on the very latest in their investigation. Let's dip in and listen to where they are in this press conference right now.
SIR IAN BLAIR, COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
We thought it appropriate at this stage, just over 24 hours after the incident, that the Metropolitan Police Service, on behalf of the other police services of London and the other emergency services, made some statements about where we are, what we know and -- in order to fill some of the gaps in public information and also to explain why there are some things that we don't know.
I think the first thing to say, and I'm sure you would expect me to say this, is the massive sympathy of the Metropolitan Police Service for the victims of this atrocity, both those who are dead and those who are injured.
Secondly, admiration for the people of London. That title about London can take it is absolutely clear, but also to say how much support we've received from all communities in London, the communities of every faith. We've talked to many of the faith leaders, all of whom have equally and unequivocally condemned these atrocities and we are working very closely with leaders of different communities. And this is, of course, this wonderful, great, diverse city and this is Great Britain and London as one united community against atrocity.
Beyond that, I want to pay tribute to all of the emergency services. This was a fantastic example of Team London at work. Long prepared, often practiced emergency procedures worked extremely well. I mean this was a very significant incident with many scenes and to know that the health service, local authorities, the various police services, TFL and so on, worked so well together is very significant, indeed.
And I'm very pleased at the endorsement we've received, as it were, from Rudy Giuliani, who was, of course, here, saying that he thought the Metropolitan Police and the other police services were quite outstanding.
The most important statement I can make, however, is the implacable resolve of the Metropolitan Police Service to track down those who are responsible for these terrible events. And that is something that we will bend every sinew of the Metropolitan Police and all our associated agencies and comrades to do.
So what I'm just going to say is a little bit about what we do know and then I'm going to hand over to Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, who's in charge of the investigation, assisted by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Pete Clark, the national coordinator for counter-terrorism.
What do we know?
There were definitely and only four sites of these explosions, and I think they're quite well known by now. Why there was confusion about the fact that at one stage we thought there were six sites was that people were leaving from different tube stations, but resulting from the same incident. So there were only four sites.
There was only one bus that was involved. The other explosions around buses were controlled explosions by our explosives officers. So there were three attacks on tubes and one on a bus.
We have absolutely nothing to suggest that this was a suicide bombing attack, although nothing at this stage can be ruled out.
We should state at this point that we know that there are more than 50 fatalities. There is a great difficulty in deciding how many fatalities or determining how many fatalities there are because two of the scenes are very difficult in terms of recovery. One is the bus, which is taking some time because of the nature of the explosion. But more acutely, the tube train at Russell Square still contains a number of bodies which have not yet been retrieved and we do not know how many there are there, although this figure of 50 plus, it should not be taken as an exaggeration that we're going to go into three figures or anything of that nature, as far as we are concerned.
There were 700 casualties, of whom 350 were minor enough to be treated at the scene. There were 350 who were taken to hospital, of which 100 were detained overnight and as far as we know 22 are in serious and critical conditions. One person has died in hospital.
In terms of our response, the entire weight of the anti-terrorist branch at Scotland Yard is now aimed implacably, as I say, at this investigation. Our casualty bureau is fully up and running. We've had 104,000 calls into that casualty bureau and one of the things I would mention is that we do urge people, if they have no yet called it, to do everything they can to have other approaches to finding the information out. And, secondly, if people have called it and their loved one or friend has returned, then they really -- we really urge them to call it again to let us know that that person is not missing. That's a very important message.
And with that, Andy, over to you, please, for a moment.
ANDY HAYMAN, SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: Thank you, Commissioner.
I'd like at the outset to state that the Metropolitan Police, working with the community and our partners, are absolutely determined to identify and successfully prosecute the people that are responsible for this appalling event.
We have the most experienced anti-terrorist officers on this case and we have the best community here in London to help work with us to achieve that aim. Our partners, working with us, working together, have got tried and tested procedures that I think have been admirably demonstrated to be effective in the last 24 hours. That energy will not fall away.
What I think it would be helpful to explain to the communities the type of investigation that we are facing, will be to go through what we know happened yesterday. And what I'd like to do is walk through the events as factually as I can.
Initially, and it's important that we emphasize the word initially, the forensic investigation suggests that each device that was used had less than 10 pounds of high explosive. I'm sure everyone will understand that as things become clearer, the preciseness of that information will also become a lot sharper.
So things like were the devices detonated, it's too early to say.
At this stage, we do believe, however, that each device that was put onto the tube trains was likely to be on the floor of the carriage. In respect of the bus at Tavistock Square, it's likely that it could have been on the floor as much as it could have been on the seat. So, again, that's very unclear.
Let's just talk about each event and what we do know.
In relation to the tube train in Aldgate traveling toward Liverpool Street, the explosion occurred in a carriage approximately 100 yards into the tunnel. The device was in the third carriage and unfortunately we can't be any more specific than that.
Probably the more complex scene of the four is the explosion on the underground train between Kings Cross and Russell Square. The device was in the first carriage, in the standing area by the first set of double doors. I'll come back to that scene in a minute.
The explosion of the train coming into Edgware Road, that device was in the second carriage, right? Sorry, in the second carriage in the standing area by the first set of double doors.
Now, looking at how we are going to achieve our aim of identifying and successfully prosecuting, what is the challenge now facing our best operators?
I've divided it up into a couple of categories. Firstly, it's the forensic opportunities that will be present in these four scenes. They are very challenging scenes. Our people are working under the most extreme circumstances. And when I describe the scene in Russell Square, it's yet to be the case for us to get near the carriage. There's the threat of the tunnel being unsafe and, of course, given the passage of time, we will be expecting things such as vermin and other dangerous substances to be in the air. And so those kind of challenges complicate what we need to now do.
And on that point, I would ask for everyone's patience in the amount of time it would take for us to progress this matter. It would be wholly unwise and would probably be, I think, a factor that could inhibit a successful prosecution if we rush this particular stage. So that's why I'm asking for patience.
The forensic analysis from right across the four scenes will continue and as of when things become clearer, we will update you further.
I think the next point that we need to highlight is the evidence gathering stage. And I'm sure everyone is familiar with the advantages that we can be gained for viewing CCTV footage. In any event, that will be a difficult task, but if you times that by the number of scenes we've got, then, of course, that, I hope, paints a picture for you as to how challenging that will be. That is going on at the moment.
But the more important thing that I want to get across to everyone this morning is that we do need the community's help. The community, they bind together at such occasions and they always come up trumps in giving us the information that makes that difference. And so the number that I'm encouraging people to ring is the anti- terrorist hotline, which is 0800-789-321.
The position at the moment is I would not want to discount any information that someone thanks is relevant. This is a time of gathering the information from those people who feel it would make a difference. And so I would urge people to phone that number.
So in conclusion, we've got the best people investigating this matter. They are very experienced, as are the partners that are helping us. We've got the best communities that will bind together and will give us the information that we need to develop this case. We have got forensic opportunities which we're exploiting and our overall aim is to identify and successfully prosecute the people responsible for this appalling event -- Commissioner.
BLAIR: Thank you very much, Andy.
DICK: Quite right.
We're happy to take questions now. We'll try and work around. Can you wait until the microphone comes to you? It will help us and it will help everyone else in the room. So we'll start in the front row.
QUESTION: Thank you.
Jessica Yellin with ABC News.
My question is, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said these attacks have all the hallmarks of al Qaeda.
What evidence have you found linking this possibly to al Qaeda? And have you found any evidence in the explosives that might link them to other attacks, like the bombings in Madrid?
BLAIR: Well, the answer is quite simple, I agree with the foreign secretary that this has all the hallmarks of al Qaeda. But it's, as Andy has been saying, we are, you know, in the beginning of a very complex and lengthy investigation and there is nothing specific of which I'm aware, Andy, that we could assist on that question.
HAYMAN: Not at this stage, no.
QUESTION: Margaret Gilmore from the BBC.
The threat level to the U.K. was reduced slightly about a month ago.
Was that not a sign that you had, in fact, become more relaxed?
BLAIR: The threat level is a matter which is determined on the advice of the security services through the Joint Terrorism Advisory Center. The changes is not something that we've discussed and nothing in any changes that went through reduced our vigilance in any way.
HAYMAN: And I'd like to add to that, if you look to the police response prior to and after those changes, you would see no difference.
QUESTION: Andy Tighe, News 24.
How concerned are you that there could be further attacks? In other words, that there could still be an active cell somewhere in the United Kingdom?
BLAIR: Well, I think this is an answer which is blindingly obvious. There is likely to still be a cell. Whether these people are still in the United Kingdom is a question and we will remain vigilant. We must remain vigilant. This is a national issue, it's not just for London and the Metropolitan Police Service. And all of the forces of the United Kingdom are taking steps to do two things, first of all, to increase their footstep on the ground, and, secondly, to work with communities, because that is the key issue here. It is not the police and the intelligence services who will defeat terrorism, it is communities who defeat terrorism. And that's why we work so closely with them.
QUESTION: Greg Milan (ph) from Sky News.
There's talk this morning that you've asked European police forces to help you track down certain individuals. One is named as Mohamed Gervosi (ph).
Is that true?
BLAIR: I'm not prepared to speculate on individual lines. What I can tell you, is the Metropolitan Police has almost been overwhelmed by offers of help from Europe, from the United States, offers of solidarity from around the world. And another actually marvelous piece. There's been a number of e-mails received in the Met from the people of London saying you're doing a fantastic job. And I've been saying that all along.
QUESTION: But do you believe those responsible may have already left the country?
BLAIR: I just -- I can't speculate.
DICK: The end of the front row?
QUESTION: Alistair McDonald from Reuters.
How many people are actually working on the case and is it possible to get some sort of breakdown as to which services they come from?
BLAIR: Andy, if you're prepared to do that.
HAYMAN: Yes, I'm not prepared to discuss the numbers on the case. What I can say is it's a substantial amount that is needed for this job and we are working with other partners. And, again, it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on that.
DICK: OK. I'm going to go over there, in the back.
QUESTION: Philip Botrevese (ph) R.T. Ireland (ph).
You've spoken about the forensic opportunities that have been presented. You've spoken about this review of the CCTV footage.
Could you tell us a little bit about intelligence based policing and policing within the community in getting to the bottom of this?
HAYMAN: What we do know, of course, is that the community, as ever, are our eyes and ears. And they will see things that are a little bit different to the norm. And so by engaging with our communities, of which this is not a new venture, this is going on all the time, right from this sort of fund reduced burglary right through to the most serious crime, by engaging further and asking for their support, they've become our eyes and ears to give us the information and intelligence that may or may not make a difference.
And that's why it's very important that we encourage people to ring that number.
HAYMAN: I'm sorry, what?
QUESTION: Intelligence based policing?
HAYMAN: Yes, I think it is intelligent to put it that way, yes.
DICK: OK. In front. You?
QUESTION: Dimitri Drosdov (ph), Russian (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
Could you confirm the information about two more bombs which was found which didn't explode?
DICK: There was a suggestion that we found two other devices.
BLAIR: There are no more devices.
HAYMAN: There was, for clarity, yesterday when there was some misunderstanding as to whether or not -- how many sites and crime scenes we had, there was speculation that there was a further two. And what that actually was, was controlled explosions by the expo officers at the scene.
QUESTION: Abul Taher from the "Sunday Times."
How seriously are you taking that claim on the -- on this Web site by a new al Qaeda group, claiming responsibility?
BLAIR: Well, we obviously are aware of it and what we cannot know is whether this is real, whether this is disinformation. I mean this is a very complex web and so we've taken considerable note of it.
DICK: Thank you.
At the back in the middle there.
QUESTION: Yes, Gary Cattrell, ITV News.
I appreciate what you said about the difficulty with some of the crime scenes, particularly Russell Square.
But is it right that we're getting updates on death tolls via the Austrian prime minister when there are so many people who want regular updates and are concerned about loved ones?
BLAIR: Well, I can't comment on what the Australian prime minister says. I'm here at 11:00 this morning, 27 hours later on, to tell you what we know at the moment and to give you an explanation as to why we don't know any more. You know, there is a possibility and there's impossibility. And what we're delivering to us is the best information that we have in a way which we hope makes it understandable why we can't give exact numbers.
Nothing is being covered up. Nothing is being withheld. We're giving you information when we have it.
DICK: Coming forward from there, if you can?
QUESTION: Bob Sherwood, "Financial Times."
You said the devices were 10 pounds of explosive or less.
Can you give us an idea, is that a relatively small explosive? How big would that have been and what does that tell us about how they could have been carried on and the sort of organizations that might have done that?
HAYMAN: In terms of size, I mean you'd expect that to be in a kind of rucksack type carrier. And, again, I don't think it's particularly helpful to say whether it -- what's -- how it compares with other sizes. The fact that it's caused what is has caused is serious enough.
DICK: Come forward again.
QUESTION: Simon Israel from Channel 4 News.
Are you still sticking by what appears to be the stated idea that there was absolutely no intelligence and no warning of this attack? And if that is so, how far back are you going in terms of the history of inverted comments, terrorism within al Qaeda tied to it, in order to trace as to how you got -- how they may have got to yesterday?
BLAIR: Well, let me put it to you this way. It is a fact, I think, that the intelligence services and the police service in the United Kingdom work more closely than their equivalents anywhere else in the world. And we will rely entirely on what the security service can tell us about this. Everything is being looked at. There is nothing to suggest that intelligence has been missed in any way.
Three million people travel on the tube every day. This is a city in a -- a wonderful city in a liberal democracy. There is nothing to suggest that. We will rigorously look at absolutely every strand and we are being helped by intelligence agencies around the world, who, like in the policing community, have come together to say how can we help?
DICK: All right, Trevor?
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Trevor from the "Times."
I'd like to check with the commissioner the figures for the death toll. You said, I think, over 50.
Did I understand you to say it could reach three figures?
BLAIR: No, no, I said there's nothing to suggest that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew they'd be a figures question.
DICK: All right, can we go in on that row? (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
QUESTION: Could I ask you more about the operation to reach the bodies trapped in the Russell Square? I mean can you tell me factually what are you doing? Are you having to reinforce the tunnel? And, also, on the question of the dead, has a temporary mortuary or anything been set up and what is the identification process that's going on at the moment? How are you progressing? What's the I.D.s?
HAYMAN: Out of respect for others, I wouldn't want to go into some of the detail you've asked, other than to say that the arrangements for the mortuary are in place. That's very much under the direction of the coroner and the investigators. That's normal practice. The complexity of getting to the carriage is one of mainly safety. What we don't want, of course, is more injuries as a result of trying to forensicate the scene.
So I think if you just imagine an explosion that far into a tunnel, in that number of the carriage, I think we can all speculate the sort of things our people are actually confronting. I think I respect for others. That's probably the most data that I want to go into.
DICK: Just behind you there.
Jimmy? Jimmy Burns?
QUESTION: Jimmy Burns, "Financial Times."
Can I ask Ian a question, I mean, bearing in mind that we're still in an early stage of the investigations. But is there anything in current powers available to you which you think would require enhancing in the light of what has happened in the last 24 hours? I'm referring particularly in terms of counter-terrorism measures, on the one hand, and the current legislation or proposed legislation on I.D. cards.
BLAIR: I do think this is the place for an I.D. card debate, Jimmy.
But the one area that we have consistently talked about is the legislation, the proposed legislation around acts preparatory to terrorism and we will certainly be backing the government in that. Of course, along with other advisers, along with ministers and so on, we will look to see whether there are any other powers. But at the moment, this is about pure, unremitting detective work and pure unremitting work with the communities of London.
DICK: Ian Hepburn?
QUESTION: Ian Hepburn, "The Sun."
There were suggestions yesterday that a bomber could have blown himself up on the bus.
Do you believe that that's still the situation? That's not been confirmed.
BLAIR: No, as I said earlier on, Ian, there is absolutely nothing to suggest this was a suicide bomb. There is nothing to suggest that. We can't rule it out. It may have been that. But it may also have been a bomb that was left on a seat. It may also be a bomb that went off in transit. These things are still open to the investigation. And I think the continuous reference to suicide bombing is unhelpful, because it's completely unproven.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will come to you.
QUESTION: Just following on from that, and I have a second question. But just following on that, is it the working assumption at the moment that those on the Tubes were devices which were left? They weren't with an individual when they went off, or can you not know? BLAIR: I just don't think we can answer this question. As Andy has already said is it looks like the ones on the Tube were on the floor. So that may give you some idea, but that's...
QUESTION: So, you have no clues as to whether they were in the control of individuals?
BLAIR: We do not at this stage, no.
QUESTION: And just on the death toll, do you have idea yet of men, women, children, age ranges?
BLAIR: I don't have anything that I can give you on that. I don't. Andy? No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across to Jason (ph).
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE). Could you give me any -- us anymore details about the CCTV recovery? For instance, do we know whether all of the cameras were working on the bus and on the Tubes? And do you have any numbers of the amounts of CCTV you'll be looking at?
HAYMAN: Well, I just think -- I can't give you that level of detail. In time, we will be able to. But as I said, (INAUDIBLE) something if you just consider the number of routes, the number of scenes and the opportunities that they present, and which is then, I think, complicated further by their buses moving, and there are lots of CCTV tapes that we need to view and to seize. In terms of further detail, it's just too hard to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you just go across to Neil Bennett (ph)?
QUESTION: Neil Bennett (ph) from the BBC. Given that people with apparent access to good information (INAUDIBLE) for some time that they were very nervous about going on London's underground system, can you tell me if the -- what consideration was given to seriously increasing the security on the Tube system?
BLAIR: As I said, this Tube system has three million people going through it every day. It's probably the most extensive Tube network in the world. We work very closely with TFL. We work very closely with British Transport Police. But there is clearly a limit to security, as I had mentioned earlier, in a vibrant and liberal city. We will obviously review what more can be done. But there are, as I say limits.
HAYMAN: I think just to (INAUDIBLE) that point, commissioner, that maybe later when my colleague from the British Transport Police are here, they can give that level of detail. But what I can say is that (AUDIO GAP)...
QUESTION: Why you think this terrorism take place in Central London? Do you think this is something you can prevent completely? BLAIR: Well, nobody can say we can prevent it completely. But this is a very safe city with probably one of the finest police services in the world with a network of contacts with all of the other emergency services to whom, you know, I continually want to pay tribute, supported by its communities (AUDIO GAP) who are completely backing everything that we're doing. I don't think there's much more of an answer I can give.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please come forward.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE). There are reports today that the cell may have been based in the Midlands. Do you have any evidence or intelligence to that effect?
BLAIR: No, none whatsoever. That is pure speculation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's one in front there.
QUESTION: Deborah Hayfield (ph). I would like to go back to the two extra explosions -- explosives that you talked about. Does that mean that there were two other bombs that were controlled to explode? Or was it just two sort of controlled explosions of suspect packages?
HAYMAN: (INAUDIBLE) brief in more detail (INAUDIBLE) we can give you, that would part of the investigation strategy, and that's a common thing that will happen in these kinds of events.
BLAIR: It is not another bomb.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we can just go across there.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE). Have you any evidence of backlash against mosques? Or are you taking any precautions for that kind of thing?
BLAIR: We are talking to -- throughout the country, the police service is talking to mosque leaders, but only -- it's not just mosque leaders. It's also to all of the communities around what may be symbolic buildings and so on. We are aware of one or two very minor incidents across the country, but it is so far, as I would expect, you know, Britain's with its liberal and welcoming approach to people is taking this in its stride. And I'm very proud of that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pete Norman (ph), "People" magazine. You mentioned two sites of a difficult forensic-wise, one being the bus. The facade of the building opposite the bus is heavily peppered by shrapnel. Is this what the difficulty is, there was so much shrapnel in this bomb?
BLAIR: This is -- the nature of the explosion there made it a very widespread scene. I mean, the tunnel is the tunnel, and that makes it very difficult. But it is completely in the open air, 12 feet up in the air. It makes it a much more difficult scene to retrieve.
QUESTION: And there was shrapnel in the bomb? BLAIR: No, there's nothing to suggest that at all at the moment. But you are having a bomb going off in a metal box, which produces shrapnel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
QUESTION: Ryan Norvand (ph) from "Newsweek." Do I understand correctly you have not been able to reach the carriage at Russell Square at all? Or did rescue workers go there and then leave because the carriage...
BLAIR: What we've done is, with the help of the London Fire Brigade and the London ambulance service, all living people have been removed from that site. What was then decided was that the dead would be left there, because the roof was too dangerous until it was shored up. But there is nothing -- don't get any impression that there are living casualties down in the Tubes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to take a couple more. Can you come down to the second row? Thank you.
QUESTION: John Joski (ph) from "The Los Angeles Times." Regarding the explosives, have you found any evidence of timing devices? Or do you think these were timed detonations? And do you have any information on the sophistication of the bombs? And my second question is, why was the one Tube explosion so much more lethal than the other two?
BLAIR: That will be -- the two answers to that are no to all of the first questions, because we haven't reached that point in the investigation. Secondly, it's about where the train probably was in the tunnel. Was it in a confined space? Was it moving in a relatively open area of the Tube, et cetera? That's what the issue is, how crowded the train was, et cetera.
But I can tell you that I've also received a very kind message of support from Bill Branton (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's one here on the end of the second row. The mic is coming.
QUESTION: Betoven Heiman (ph) from "El Pais" (ph) of Spain. Did you at any moment yesterday suspend the mobile phone network in London, maybe by fear of further explosions in buses?
BLAIR: No, we did consider it, because we do have that ability. We considered it, but we also assessed the threat to sort of the public confidence that would come with that, because thousands and thousands of people were trying to find out whether other people were, you know, alive or unhurt or whatever. And that was the decision that we took. We do have that capability, and it was available to us, but we did not do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, last question, Jeff.
QUESTION: Jeff Edwards (ph) from "The Daily Mirror." Does the fact that all of these explosions took place in the north/northeast quadrant of London, is that an indicator to you or might it be an indicator as to where these bombers may be based or where they came in from?
BLAIR: We will examine every possibility, Jeff. But certainly our experience with other terrorist groups is that they have taken very (INAUDIBLE) routes to place explosives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, thank you very much. As I said earlier, there will be another briefing with other emergency service colleagues in a few moments. Thank you.
S. O'BRIEN: You've been listening to a news conference with Scotland Yard filling the press in, really, on what they know at this stage about the investigation into the series of bombings in London.
Basically, in a word from Scotland Yard, there is a very difficult road ahead in this investigation, partly because the crime scenes are so complicated.
The update now: More than 50 fatalities, they are saying. It's particularly difficult at two scenes, the bus location and also the King's Cross/Russell Square Tube location. There are a number of bodies, they say, still yet to be retrieved. No survivors, no living survivors are down there.
They said the casualty bureau, more than 100,000 phone calls, and they walked through some of the events that they now know in this early stage of the investigation.
Each explosive device was less than 10 pounds, describing it, one investigator did, as the size that can possibly be carried in a rucksack or a backpack. It's too early to say if it was detonated or a suicide bomber; yet no evidence so far of a timing device.
Each device, they believe at this point, was placed on the floor of the carriage in the Tubes, maybe on the seat or the floor in the bus in the Tavistock Station.
The device in the first explosion was in the third carriage. The device in the second explosion, King's Cross/Russell Square, the most complicated site, they say, was left in the standing area by double doors in the first carriage. And they say this is the most difficult scene, partly because of where it exploded in the tunnel, partly because it is a very crowded location. And they said fears about the stability of the tunnel are one of the big reasons why they're not getting in there to try to bring out some of those bodies.
And finally, the Edgware Road location, the third explosion, that device in the second carriage, and that was also standing areas by the double doors of the bus. He added, because it's 12 feet in the air, essentially the location of the explosion made it much more difficult to try to retrieve any of the evidence.
So, certainly they have basically this investigation into three parts: forensics, which they call challenging, evidence-gathering, also called very challenging, and maybe most importantly a focus on the community, asking the community to call in and give help, especially specifically to the antiterrorist hotline, because they say that, frankly, that's where the best intelligence is going to come, not necessarily to the investigation.
M. O'BRIEN: They had some words about the toll as well, indicating right now 50-plus people have perished in those attacks, and said that it would be an exaggeration to indicate that those numbers would get into the three figures. A total of 700 wounded. A hundred of them spent the night in the hospital. One person did pass away, who had been hospitalized. Twenty-two this morning are considered in serious or critical condition.
John Vause is outside St. Mary's Hospital in London, where many of those casualties were taken.
John, the prince, I know, visited there just a little while ago, visited some of the injured. Did he have anything to say coming in or out of there?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Miles. The prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall, they spent about an hour visiting with the doctors and nurses here. They say that was a show of appreciation for the emergency workers here.
They also met with some of the patients who are here at St. Mary's Hospital. Thirty-eight patients were brought here yesterday. Fourteen were discharged. Seven remain in critical condition, and also 14 remain in a serious condition.
Now, as he left, Prince Charles gave a few words about his thoughts and his feelings now the day after the attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE CHARLES, ENGLAND: They are an extraordinary team. Everybody pulls together, and it brings the best out of everyone. That's what's so wonderful. So, we just wanted to come and say thank you to them. What a fantastic job they've done. We are very lucky to have people like this working here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Now, the prince and Camilla are now heading out to a police coordination center in the north of London. This is the coordination center, which organized sending casualties to various hospitals, that kind of thing. The prince once again wants to thank the emergency workers.
And also later today the queen will visit a hospital. And, Miles, this is what the royals do best at this time, give moral support to a country which is in a great deal of pain right now -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: CNN's John Vause at St. Mary's Hospital. Thank you very much. S. O'BRIEN: Well, the investigation is the focus today, obviously. Some analysts have said that this attack has all of the hallmarks of al Qaeda. Investigators, in fact, in that press conference just moments ago, said it is "blindingly obvious" -- and that's a quote -- that this there is likely to be a terror cell in the United Kingdom.
We've got more on the investigation after this short break. Also ahead this morning, more on our other top story, Hurricane Dennis, now a category 4 storm headed for Cuba and for Florida as well. We're back in a moment.
S. O'BRIEN: The man who led New York through the aftermath of 9/11 was just a block away from Liverpool Street Station in London when the first bomb exploded at 8:51 a.m. local time. Seven people died there. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been in London for a conference. He joins us again this morning.
You know, a moment ago, we were just showing videotape from 9/11. It kind of takes you right back, I have to imagine, the moment there is -- I mean, what are the chances of being right in the middle of two terror attacks? You must have been thinking about that.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NYC MAYOR: I was, yes. I mean, it was hard not to escape that, and also the parallels and memories of September 11.
From the first moment it was described to us, we were, as you say, a block away in a restaurant having breakfast. And the first report was kind of ambiguous, like the first report of September 11. The question was whether it was an accident, or whether there was a device?
And then, the thing that made it clear that it was a terrorist attack was when we got the report of the second attack. And then, the scenes that I observed, many of them reminded me of September 11. The emergency personnel, they were going in, getting people out. The reaction of the people of London, very, very brave, very resolute, still very hurt. You know, you could see that they were very worried about what had happened and concerned about the people who were missing, the people that had died.
And then, just the sheer impossibility of this. In other words, the idea of how could this happen, people just being killed, innocent people just being killed on their way to work, once again for insane reasons?
S. O'BRIEN: And yet, at the same time, one thing that we heard over and over again yesterday that I thought was pretty surprising was sort of a phrase, shocked but not surprised that, in fact...
S. O'BRIEN: ... everybody had been preparing for this day. Do you think, then, that that's the same case here in the United States that this is something that very much could happen here, it's just a matter of time?
GIULIANI: I think it's the same case in the United States, although I think here in London, they were ready for this. I mean, they -- everyone that I've spoken to since the incident and even before -- I've been here many times -- they expected an attack to happen.
And, of course, these are people who have lived through attacks before. They lived through the IRA bombings. They lived through the Second World War in 1940, or at least their grandparents did, or parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
So, in some ways, you know, it's tragic to say this, but they have experience with this. And they showed that experience yesterday in the way they handled it.
I think the same thing is true in America, maybe to a lesser extent. But after we went through September 11, you know, we expect, unfortunately and tragically, it's going to happen to us again. And we do the best that we can to prepare for it. And then we hope and pray it doesn't happen.
S. O'BRIEN: Do you think the attacks in London, Mr. Mayor, increase the chances that we're going to be attacked here in the U.S.?
GIULIANI: No, I don't think the chance has changed very much of whether there was an attack or there wasn't an attack. I think the chances that we're going to be attacked, and I take this from what the government says, are very good, unfortunately.
I think maybe what this does is, for anyone who is becoming complacent because, you know, a good deal of time has now gone by since September 11, 2001, that obviously complacency is very, very dangerous in a situation like this. These people are exceedingly dangerous. They are totally irresponsible. Their power has been reduced significantly so that the number of attacks and the scale of the attacks maybe isn't the same as it could have been before.
But the reality is they're still there, and they're still dangerous, and they're still -- we're still at war with them. And I think this reminds us of that.
S. O'BRIEN: Years after 9/11, do you think that today we're focusing too much on airline safety? You know, analysts will say, as you well know, al Qaeda has really changed its MO, and focusing in airline safety is kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has already run out. We really should be focusing on mass transit safety and putting efforts and money there.
GIULIANI: Well, you know, this attack that happened today is the attack that was anticipated, including in the United States. This was much more the kind of an attack that for 10-12 years law enforcement, terrorism task forces, intelligence services, this is the kind of thing that was anticipated. And the emergency people here -- the police, the fire, the EMS people -- I know the emergency people in New York, same groups -- the police, the fire, the EMS -- they are very well-prepared for this kind of an incident. This is what they were ready for.
You know, can you stop every single one? I know they've stopped a number of them here in London. I know they've stopped a number of them in the United States. I'm sure they're going to go back over this one and see if there is anything else they could do in the future that could tighten things up. But then, there's a risk factor that you can't do anything about. I mean, you just try as hard as you can.
But I know the spirit here is they're going to go back, take a look, and see can they tighten things up based on what they might perceive went wrong in this situation, although, from my perspective, the emergency operation was superb. I mean, it was exemplary.
S. O'BRIEN: You wrote an open letter in the "Times" of London today. What's your message to the people there?
GIULIANI: Well, I have great affection for the people of London, because they helped me though September 11, 2001. I needed something that I could compare September 11 to on that day to get through it and to explain it to my people. And the thing that came to mind to me were the people of London in 1940 and the people of Israel in recent times and they had to live through. And I was able to -- sort of based on that I was able to say to myself and the people of New York, if they can get through it, we can get through it.
And now, they've had to go through it again, and my heart goes out to them, although also my tremendous respect for the way in which they have handled this. And it has to recommit us to ending terrorism, to doing all of the things that are necessary to end terrorism and realize it's going to take some time to do that. But we have to remain committed to it.
S. O'BRIEN: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joining us. It's nice to see you, sir. Thanks.
GIULIANI: Nice to see you.
M. O'BRIEN: Still to come...
GIULIANI: Thank you very much.
M. O'BRIEN: Sorry about that. Still to come on the program, tracking a category 4 hurricane, Dennis is hitting Cuba before turning to the U.S. The latest path of the storm next on AMERICAN MORNING.
M. O'BRIEN: In the path of Hurricane Dennis, today Cuba, Thursday Haiti. As the storm passed over Haiti, Dennis peeled tin roofs off of homes and swept away a bridge, as you can see here. Thunderstorms also swept over the Dominican Republic and northeast Jamaica. Florida expected to begin to feel the hurricane's effects soon. Residents along the Gulf Coast are buying up supplies to batten the hatches. The storm could hit home on the Gulf Coast anywhere from southwest Florida to southeast Louisiana.
Chad Myers is at the CNN center tracking the storm, a very busy man this morning.
Good morning, Chad.
I don't think we have Chad. All right, we'll check back with him in just a little bit -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: All right, well, let's take another short break. In just a moment, we're going to take a look at both of our top stories. We'll get an update from Chad about the exact path we are expecting for this hurricane, Hurricane Dennis, now a category 4 storm.
Also, a closer look at the London terror attacks the day after. Expanded coverage from London, from Washington, and from New York this morning, including a special look at how New York is tightening security on its mass transit systems. That's all ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. Stay with us.
S. O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome back, everybody. I'm Soledad O'Brien.
New developments out of London. In just the last few minutes, police updating the horrifying toll from Thursday's bombings, promising implacable resolve as they hunt down the terrorists who killed more than 50 people and injured more than 700.
M. O'BRIEN: I'm Miles O'Brien.
In London today, a nervous return to work, to say the least. Buses and the underground are up and running, not in every place. Authorities warning people in the city to stay alert for more possible attacks. We are live in London with the latest.
S. O'BRIEN: And the other big story this morning, Hurricane Dennis, now a huge category 4 storm, and it's bearing down on Cuba. Americans on the Gulf Coast are preparing for a direct hit on this AMERICAN MORNING.
M. O'BRIEN: Good morning to you. We're following several developments in London as police begin to put together what happened in Thursday's bombings. A lot of information just came out in this past hour.
S. O'BRIEN: Yes, it was a lengthy news conference, and I think one of those news conferences where there actually was a fair amount of information revealed.
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