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CNN BREAKING NEWS
More Blasts Hit London; British, Australian Leaders Denounce Terror
Aired July 21, 2005 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Excessive heat advisories in effect from East to West, all across the nation. The mercury is soaring to record highs once again today. Reports of deaths in places where it's usually hot, but not like this. The forecast ahead.
In Mexico, Emily still unleashing its wrath, even just as a tropical depression. The storm is dumping torrential rains and threatening dangerous floods. A live report from Mexico this hour.
Under the microscope -- DNA tests today on strands of blond hair found on an Aruban beach in the Natalee Holloway case on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ANNOUNCER: From the CNN broadcast center in New York, this is AMERICAN MORNING with Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: Good morning to you.
I'm Miles O'Brien.
We're glad your with us this morning.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Carol Costello in for Soledad.
Coming up, a new development in the London terror investigation.
O'BRIEN: Police identify a suspect in the London bombings with possible connections to terrorism in the U.S. We'll have details and a live report from London on that.
But before we do that, let's check the headlines.
Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center with that -- good morning, Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning again, Miles and Carol.
Now in the news, a developing story. There's now word that a suspect has been arrested in the case of a missing 8-day-old baby in Florida. We told you about it the last hour. Jessie Threatts is believed to be the little boy's biological father. Well, police in Fort Myers say Threatts, along with the baby's biological mother, took the infant last night from the grandmother's home, who apparently had custody of the child. The whereabouts of the infant and his mother are still unknown.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is heading to the Middle East this hour, after an unpleasant incident in Sudan. During her visit, members of her staff and the press were apparently manhandled by authorities in Sudan. Rice demanded an apology and was later given one by Sudan's foreign minister. The phone call came after Rice had met with women at the refugee camp in Darfur.
A status report on Iraq is heading to Capitol Hill. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says there are a number of achievements, including greater political stability, but admits that insurgents continue to be a major challenge for the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition.
Two Algerian diplomats have been kidnapped in Baghdad. Algeria confirms the two men were abducted earlier today outside a restaurant. Iraq's foreign minister had said insurgents are targeting diplomats in Iraq in hopes of rattling the country's ties with the international community.
The man known as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, or Scottie, on "Star Trek," has died. James Doohan was best known for being on the receiving end of the phrase "beam me up, Scottie." But he was also a World War 2 veteran and an author. Doohan died Wednesday from pneumonia-related causes at the age of 85. His wife plans to send his ashes into space during a private launch service.
And NASA says the countdown is set for Tuesday. That's when officials will try once again to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery. The fuel gauge problem that grounded last week's lift-off was apparently solved. Officials say it was most likely due to an electrical problem.
Now back to you -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right, thank you very much, Fred.
British police are looking for a man who may have helped the four London bombers. Haroon Rashid Aswat is suspected of being an al Qaeda operative and forming a conspiracy to train terrorists within the United States.
Nic Robertson in London following the developments on all this -- Nic, what do you know about Aswat?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know where he isn't at the moment, Miles. He is from the area around Leeds, close to where three of the other suspected bombers came from. But his family at his house just outside of that city say that they haven't seen him in 10 years, that they have no idea what he's doing.
We've also heard from the British high commissioner in Pakistan who says that no one in Pakistan has so far been arrested in connection with the attacks in London.
However, Pakistan is where Aswat is believed to be at this time. He is believed, according to sources very familiar with the investigation, believed to have left Britain right before the bombings and gone to Pakistan.
What makes him of particular interest is he does seem to have very strong ties with al Qaeda. In fact, in 1999, he was believed to have visited the United States with a view to setting up a terror training camp in Bly, Oregon. He was named as a co-conspirator along with James Ujaama, who pleaded guilty not only to supplying the Taliban with computers and money in Afghanistan, but also, again, with the possibility or the intent to set up this training camp in Oregon.
Aswat also linked with the radical cleric in London, Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Mazri. Al-Mazri is in a British jail at this time. Aswat believed to be his right hand man. Sheikh Hamza al-Mazri believed to have been involved in sending young Muslim men to al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and Yemen.
So Aswat very much a center part of the focus in the British search right now, certainly with long, apparently long and strong ties with al Qaeda, and in particular, with plans in the U.S. -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: With begs the question, Nic, long and strong ties, his name on anybody's short list of somebody active in al Qaeda.
How, if what is alleged to be true is true, how is he able to freely operate?
ROBERTSON: That's a very good question. Today, Tony Blair is meeting with his intelligence chiefs, MI6, MI5, the police, to find out how they could have done things better, to see how they can do things better in the future.
There was wide speculation in the days after the bombing that somebody high on a watch list, somebody that U.S. officials had told British officials was high on their watch lists, arrived in Britain two weeks before the bombing and that for some reason he wasn't closely followed while in Britain. It is speculated, and it's not known. The police are very tight-lipped on what they know about this investigation.
It is speculated that this could have been Aswat, but he left just before the bombing happened, indeed, the morning that the bombing happened.
So it appears that he may well have come in the country, was on a watch list, then left without being followed during that time in Britain.
O'BRIEN: That's remarkable if that's true.
Nic Robertson in London.
Thank you very much -- Carol.
COSTELLO: In the Natalee Holloway investigation, DNA tests are expected to be conducted today on strands of blond hair found on a piece of duct tape. That tape was discovered last week on an Aruban beach. As the investigation continues, Natalee's family has hired a private detective to help them.
T.J. Ward joins us now live from Palm Beach, Aruba.
T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Good morning.
COSTELLO: T.J., what do you know about this blond hair connected to duct tape?
WARD: Well, the only thing we know about the blond hair, now that it has just washed up on shore, and we're in hopes that the law enforcement will establish something from this investigation and this new evidence. I believe if the investigation hadn't been hampered at the beginning, they may have had, if they would have taken the suspects into custody in normal police work and taken and did search warrants on the houses at the time that the suspects were named -- and the family arrived on the 30th and had an encounter with the family, and the vehicles that were involved -- if they would have taken them in, they may have found a roll of duct tape that probably would have coincided with what they have in custody now.
COSTELLO: This is your second trip to Aruba. The Holloway family has now hired you.
Do you think you can fix those problems?
WARD: Well, I don't think I can hamper with any of the evidence that the police have now, and that's not the objective for me being here. The objective is for me to be here to conduct our own private investigation. There's a lot of people that have not been interviewed by the police. There are a lot of people out here that know something about this case. And our objective here is to go forth and try to...
COSTELLO: Like who?
WARD: Well, there's witnesses. Somebody knows about this Holloway case. The family has now incorporated a reward in this case and I believe with the $200,000 reward that's been offered for the safe return of Natalee or the $100,000 of information leading to Natalee's disappearance, there will be somebody who (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
COSTELLO: I also understand you have this layered voice analysis test that you want to perform on some of the suspects in this case.
WARD: Well, we use...
COSTELLO: You won't be able to do that...
WARD: ... the layered voice...
COSTELLO: Go ahead.
WARD: We brought the layered voice analysis down here approximately three weeks ago in hopes, with the -- the prosecutor was looking for new technology. And when we saw this, we brought this to their attention and brought the layered voice analysis down here and not only showed the Aruban government the technology this 21st century technology and how it works, we also took it to law enforcement. And the tech -- they were very overwhelmed with the technology and what it'll do and what information we can obtain from it...
COSTELLO: Well, let's back up just a second and explain what the heck this device is.
It's sort of like a lie detector but not?
WARD: Well, it's not a lie detector test. What it does, it's a mathematical formula from information taken from the way that things come out of your mouth and the way you talk, that transmits from your brain to your voice box. And this information is converted in a mathematical formula and it will tell you if you're being deceptive or you're hiding something.
The goodness of this system, while we did have it here, was that we were able to obtain media tapes from some of the suspects and some indirect and direct parties that were involved, and we've gathered some information on behalf for us to go forward with this private investigation.
COSTELLO: Based on this layered voice analysis.
But does anyone take this seriously? I mean would it be admissible in court? Do they use it here in the United States?
WARD: No. They do use it in the United States. About 67 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., along with 14 federal agencies, is utilizing our system. The system is not a court tool, it is an investigative tool, the same way the polygraph is. The only difference is the layered voice analysis is a tool that is used in the very beginning of an investigation. When you analyze somebody and you can find out that they're having problems in areas which it'll identify, then you'll know that you need to target in on that certain area and take that information and run with it.
WARD: The difference, in a polygraph, the difference is in a polygraph you have to answer controlled -- ask controlled questions and answer tough questions. With our system, all it is is a casual conversation. Tell us what happened last Friday. And it analyzes the information just by your casual conversation.
COSTELLO: Well, hopefully you'll keep us posted.
T.J. Ward in Palm Beach, Aruba.
Thanks for joining us this morning.
WARD: Thank you very much, Carol. O'BRIEN: It's now a tropical depression, but Emily, even as it weakens and moves over the mountains of Mexico, causing trouble. Flooding is now a serious risk for parts of the region after the hurricane dumped up to eight inches of rain within just a few hours.
Meanwhile, in south Texas, residents cleaning up damaged homes and businesses. Crews working to restore power areas -- to areas that are hit. There are no reports of deaths or serious injuries in the storm, however.
Let's bring in Chad Myers at the CNN Center.
Chad is looking at that and the heat wave, as well -- Chad, good morning.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Certainly.
And good morning, Miles.
The rain now still bumping up against the mountains here of Mexico. Very little left into Texas and really not much about north of maybe Corpus Christi was even affected. Hardly even a rain shower in San Antonio.
Talk about rain showers, though, look how heavy this rain is. A different perspective. Here's Corpus, here's Laredo. All of these areas, from Monterrey just to the east to Cerralvo, right into China, Mexico and as far east as the ocean, every area you see there that is purple, that's over 10 inches of rain in 24 hours.
And it's still raining in some spots. We expect to see mud slides and flooding video here. Daylight is not even there yet, so we're going to have to take our time and kind of be patient with some of that damage video, I'm afraid, out of Mexico. I think it's going to be worse than what we're seeing so far.
COSTELLO: Was it a sign? Hurricane Emily one of three major storms to interrupt a Georgia couple's wedding and honeymoon. The newlyweds will join us live with an incredible story just ahead.
O'BRIEN: An interesting start to marriage.
O'BRIEN: A stormy relationship, you might say.
Anyway, later, President Bush grabbed the headlines when he names his Supreme Court nominee. Was the timing of the announcement politically motivated? We'll take a closer look at that ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
COSTELLO: Most couples hope for a sunny wedding day and if a little rain must fall, well, it'll make a good story in the years to come.
If that is so, then Christopher and Barry Murphy have one phenomenal story to tell. It began when tropical storm Cindy pelted their car driving from their Atlanta home to the wedding in Niceville, Florida. You see it there. And there you see hurricane Dennis caught up with them, almost derailing the wedding. And then, just when they thought they had weathered all the storms, they took their honeymoon to Cancun, where hurricane Emily roared ashore, sending them from their luxury resort to a makeshift shelter.
On Tuesday, Christopher and Barry Murphy returned home to Tucker, Georgia, and that's where they join us live this morning.
Good morning to you.
BARRY MURPHY, STORM-CROSSED NEWLYWED: Good morning to you.
CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, STORM-CROSSED NEWLYWED: Good morning.
COSTELLO: I can't believe your married at all.
C. MURPHY: We're enjoying it, I guess.
COSTELLO: I hope so.
Well, let's start at the beginning.
Christopher, so you're driving from your home in Tucker, Georgia to Niceville, Florida and what happens?
C. MURPHY: Just lots of rain and wind and just slow driving for about six hours.
COSTELLO: And we're talking about driving rain. It was a dangerous drive down, wasn't it?
C. MURPHY: Oh, yes.
COSTELLO: So at this point...
C. MURPHY: Lots of rain.
COSTELLO: At this point, are you thinking maybe the wedding will be canceled?
B. MURPHY: I did.
COSTELLO: Did you, Barry?
C. MURPHY: I never had that thought in my mind.
B. MURPHY: I did because there was just so many things that were happening. The reception hall was unable to host us and people were calling left and right, unable to come. So I was pretty sure it might not happen. COSTELLO: I know. You finally get to Florida and you're supposed to have your reception at the Elgin Air Force Base. It closes down because of hurricane Dennis now.
What about your wedding party?
B. MURPHY: Actually, they all came.
C. MURPHY: They were all there.
B. MURPHY: We were very grateful that they all made the trip. We -- it was really, it was really great. They all came.
COSTELLO: So they all braved the storm.
B. MURPHY: They did.
COSTELLO: How did you work it out to have your wedding reception? Where did you finally have it?
B. MURPHY: Well, actually, when we found out Thursday that the reception hall had canceled, we got on the phone. I mean we had so many friends and family at the hall helping us. And we finally found this one restaurant, the Boathouse, in Niceville, that said that they would host it in the bottom of their restaurant, which they did so graciously. And, meanwhile, in the middle of the reception they had to board it up for the hurricane.
COSTELLO: Oh my goodness.
So you get through tropical storm Cindy, you get through hurricane Dennis, you're finally married and you think oh, thank goodness, we're going on the honeymoon now.
B. MURPHY: Exactly.
C. MURPHY: Yes.
COSTELLO: So you're traveling to Cancun.
And, Christopher, what happens there?
C. MURPHY: We began to have a good time. And not until Wednesday do we find that hurricane Emily poses a threat on Cancun.
B. MURPHY: And I was like you've got to be kidding.
C. MURPHY: Yes, so it spoiled a good mood for a little while.
B. MURPHY: Yes.
COSTELLO: OK, so you're in the hotel and then they come in and say hey, you have to evacuate.
So, Barry, where did they take you?
B. MURPHY: Well, they loaded all the guests on charter buses and took us to a very poverty stricken area in Cancun. And when we pulled up, Christopher and I were both like this is the shelter? It was not the safest looking building you've ever seen. So, it was a...
COSTELLO: There were armed guards around it, weren't there?
B. MURPHY: What's that?
COSTELLO: There were armed guards?
C. MURPHY: Yes, there were guards watching us.
B. MURPHY: Yes. They had a militia at the gate of this school that guarded us at night because it was such a bad area.
COSTELLO: So you're inside this school and you're fighting for blankets.
B. MURPHY: Yes.
C. MURPHY: Well, we had blankets. We were fighting -- people were fighting for mats to lay on. We had blankets and pillows because we brought them from the hotel.
B. MURPHY: But we actually didn't fight for the blankets. We were just kind of in the background observing everyone going crazy.
C. MURPHY: Yes.
COSTELLO: So you're sitting there on your honeymoon with armed guards surrounding you in a really, really bad area of Cancun.
C. MURPHY: Yes.
COSTELLO: So, Barry, what is going through your mind?
B. MURPHY: I can't believe this is happening, because, like you said before, after the wedding I was like, you know, nothing else can happen. We're just going to have a great time on our honeymoon. And then I'm sitting in this school and it's over 100 degrees. I'm like this is not happening.
C. MURPHY: Yes...
COSTELLO: So you have a good tale...
B. MURPHY: It was.
C. MURPHY: I just wanted to go.
COSTELLO: You have a good tale to tell your children.
C. MURPHY: We sure do.
COSTELLO: Will you name any of them Cindy, Dennis or Emily?
B. MURPHY: Absolutely not.
C. MURPHY: If we have doubles or triplets, we will.
B. MURPHY: No, we will not.
COSTELLO: No, we will not.
Well, congratulations to both of you and thanks for being such good sports.
B. MURPHY: Thank you so much.
C. MURPHY: Thank you so much.
B. MURPHY: Thank you.
C. MURPHY: Thank you.
B. MURPHY: Bye.
COSTELLO: Back to you -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, MTV branches out. We'll look at how it is going after one of the fastest growing segments of society.
That's next on AMERICAN MORNING.
Stay with us.
O'BRIEN: Some breaking news to report.
These are live pictures, CC-TV pictures from London, where authorities are responding on this, two weeks since the London attacks, to reports of three separate incidents at London underground subway stations.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in London now and has further details for us -- Nic.
ROBERTSON: Well, Miles, the Metropolitan Police say they are responding to incidents at the Oval underground station, at the Warren Street Station and at the Shepherd's Bush Station in London. These stations are quite far apart from each other. Shepherd's Bush is in the western part of London. The Oval Station south of the River Thames in London. And the -- and Warren Street Station quite close to central London. The police are not saying -- and they say that they cannot say at this time -- exactly what information they received on these calls, but they are responding to what they describe as incidents at these stations.
Eyewitnesses or second-hand accounts from eyewitnesses, report smoke at these stations. At this time, the details are very, very sketchy, but the police responding, they say, to three incidents.
It was very interesting to note, last night on the streets of London, Miles, last night there was a higher than average security presence. Police had a lot of security checks out on the streets checking vehicles as they drove through the city in the hours of darkness.
Now, this three separate incidents being investigated at three different tube stations spread out across central London -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: When you say spread out, these are -- it's not on the same underground subway line then, correct?
ROBERTSON: At this stage, it's not clear which lines have been affected. Warren Street on the northern line, the Oval on one of the lines south of the river and Shepherd's Bush on possibly the Circle Line, possibly the District Line. There are several different lines that run through some of these stations. So it's not clear.
But what we can see, the picture that we have at the moment does indicate that these stations are not clustered together in the same area, which was how the attack took place two weeks ago. The stations were sort of all in a similar area.
Now, they appear to be a little spread out. Again, we don't know what's happened. The police are not saying what's happened yet. They say they don't know. They say that they are -- what they are doing is responding to incidents at the Oval Station, at Warren Street and at Shepherd's Bush -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: And we welcome our viewers all around the world, our international viewers, as we just quickly to recap for you. Just within the past few moments, authorities in London reporting three specific incidents at subway, underground stations that are far apart from each other.
And, Nic, there are some reports of smoke.
Is that correct?
ROBERTSON: Witnesses, second-hand witnesses, if you will, who had spoken to people who had seen what happened inside the train stations reported -- and, again, these are only reports from witnesses. This is not what the police, not information that the police are disseminating at this time. Witnesses saying that they saw smoke coming from at least one of those stations. Again, the details very, very sketch at this time, Miles. But the central focus of these police investigations, again, as they were two weeks ago, appear to be underground stations in the center of London.
O'BRIEN: As we explained to people a couple of weeks ago, July 7, when the attack occurred, London is populated by a tremendous number of these closed-circuit television cameras, what you're seeing on the right part of your screen. We're sort of just scrolling through the available images, seeing what we can see. And while we do that, we'll continue our discussion with Nic.
That clue that you just gave us as moment ago, the fact that authorities apparently had a heightened state of alert last night, do we know much more about that?
ROBERTSON: No, we don't. Where we talked to the police last night, Miles, they said that this -- that there was nothing out of the ordinary happening. For me, it was very different from what we normally see on the streets of London at night. Police stopping all the cars that were passing them on certain streets, getting the drivers out, searching the vehicles. Police, like doing these type of vehicle searches, we just don't see.
I talked to a driver late last night, in the small hours of the morning. He told me that he'd seen this replicated in many places around the city.
This was abnormal, to see the police out searching vehicles at a number of locations in the city, not just old vehicles, but all the vehicles that were passing them on those streets. It's not clear if that is connected to what has happened today, but perhaps it gives an indication that there was some heightened alert status within the police, that there was some concern about something that was happening last night.
Again, we have nothing from the police that would tie those checks last night to these reports of the incidents so far today. But, again, what is striking about these incidents, as we begin to get details from the police, is that they are spread out across the center of London, still in the center. The attacks, if they are attacks, but these incidents happening close to lunch time. The attacks two weeks ago happened in the early hours of the day, in the rush hour, when the trains were at their busiest period. The incidents today are happening just before 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon here, perhaps when people would have been out from their offices moving around the city.
The incidents, the attacks two weeks ago happening fairly close to that station of King's Cross, where the four bombers passed through. The reports of the incidents today spread out across the city -- Shepherd's Bush in the west, the Oval in the south, Warren Street more central in the city. Again, the police saying that they're responding to these incidents. When I talked to them a few minutes ago, they couldn't characterize the nature of the phone calls that they'd had that -- I asked them what have you been told in these phone calls, what can you tell us about what you're responding to?
They said it's too early to go into those details. We don't have those details to hand.
But the three incidents coming apparently very much at the same time, Miles, right around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon here.
O'BRIEN: So three incidents, three stations evacuated. We have a report from the Associated Press, Nic, that underground authorities are saying there are no casualties. Obviously this whole story is kind of unfolding at this moment.
But just to backtrack here, when we hearken back to July 7, when word first came out about those attacks, the initial indication was that there was a power surge in the system. We haven't heard anything along those lines this time, have we?
ROBERTSON: We haven't. And, again, what characterized the reporting two weeks ago was that the reports came in at separate times. Remember, the first details that were released by the police indicated that the attacks, the bombings, came separated by about 20 minutes. When they reviewed all the information, finally, it appeared that the bombings occurred within a minute of each other.
Again, at this stage, it is very important to say that the police are characterizing these as incidents. They're not characterizing them as attacks. The police have not yet said -- the police have not said that this is as a result of bombing. And as you say, the first indications we are getting from these particular tube stations is there are no reports of casualties so far.
Again, not clear -- it's not clear why these three reports should come in very much at the same time. There is a characteristic within that that would worry the people of London when they hear about this right now, inasmuch as this has the symptoms of what happened two weeks ago.
The report of the power surge came in because two weeks ago -- because when those first explosions happened, one of the first warning signs that the underground system operators had on their equipment, on their digital monitoring equipment, indicated a power surge.
They said possibly because as the train -- as the bomb went off, the train left the lines. That triggered an interrupt the electricity system and therefore their monitoring would have shown a power surge. Far too early at this stage, it seems, to get that kind of information from the British Underground Transport Network. The only details we have so far -- official details, are that they are three incidents.
And again, we need to be very clear, there are reports of smoke. There are no reports of casualties so far and certainly the police not characterizing this as any kind of attack or a bombing. The police just saying three incidents at this stage -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: But they certainly are responding as if it is some sort of coordinated attack, aren't they?
ROBERTSON: They certainly are. And the very fact that they've closed the stations, that they've evacuated those stations, this is procedures, the same procedures that they followed three -- two weeks ago. What was very interesting when we monitored the developments in the early hours of the reporting of the attacks last time, that there was an unofficial report from the London Fire Brigade -- very -- within a few hours of the bombing, that they had detected the -- that there was no radiological device used. That there was no radioactive fallout from the bombings.
And it's very likely that as the security services and the emergency services go into this and respond to this particular incident, then they will again be making the same checks that they made last time, to ascertain exactly what has happened. There are operational plans in London for the police and the security services to monitor for the possible -- use of biological, chemical or radiological devices. Absolutely no report of that at this time.
But the indications from the police at this stage, just an incident. But I think, certainly, we will begin to get some clarifications, as we did unofficially from the London Fire Brigade with the attacks two weeks ago, clarifying what they know as the details begin to emerge -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: And just to underscore, London Transit is saying that, in these incidents, there are no casualties reported this morning. Three stations evacuated. Reports of smoke, people smelling smoke, and certainly, Nic, in the context of what happened two weeks ago, if you even caught the slightest whiff of the smell of smoke in the tube these days, you could imagine the panic that might ensue.
ROBERTSON: Absolutely. The report -- the accounts that people gave when they came out from the underground were quite horrific, of being stuck on trains for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, not knowing how to get off. Hearing the explosions, the detonations, really rattling and ripping apart the trains, but just echoing. Even people in other carriages, whether -- who weren't immediately affected by the force of the explosion -- carriages filled with smoke, wondering what was going to happen, wondering how they were going to get out of the situation.
We heard now from the underground system here that four lines have been shut down, four underground lines, the Hammersmith and City, the Victoria and the Northern Lines have been shut down at this time. We also understand that ambulance services have responded to the Oval Street Station. They had at call at 12:38 p.m.. Just a few minutes later, the ambulance service had a call at 12:45 p.m.. That would be seven minutes later. They have responded to both of those calls that they received of these incidents.
The ambulance service said they sent three vehicles to the Oval Street -- to the Oval tube station and five vehicles to the Warren Street Station. So again, more details emerging here from the emergency services. The ambulance service saying they received the first call about Oval Street. That came in at 12:38. Seven minutes later, the ambulance service said they received a call about the Warren Street Station. That came in at 12:45. They've responded.
We're still waiting for clarification on when they first heard about the incidents at Shepherd's Bush. Metropolitan Police, though, still characterizing this as three incidents going no further than that at this time -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: So three distinct incidents, separate lines, although one appears to be a splinter -- Oval -- appears to -- a splinter line that comes of that and leads to Warren Street. But very difficult to come up with ways of connecting the dots on these and coming up with an explanation, which would be -- with some sort of technical failure, Nic.
ROBERTSON: This stage it would be. Those are three distinct and separate underground tube lines and therefore, it would be unlikely. Not only through the nature of the different lines, but the way that system is run, compartmentalized. You can have a breakdown in one area and other segments of that line can keep running.
And also, by the very geographical nature of where these incidents have occurred, that they're in different areas of the city. South, west and central in the city, very spread out across the city. It's not clear yet -- well, what -- one of the things that are clear, that we do have so far, ambulance services have responded. They received their calls, 12:38 for the Oval Street Station, 12:45 for Warren Street Station.
The police have responded to three separate incidents. We hear there are reports of smoke at at least one of those incidents. No reports of casualties so far. The police not calling this an attack, not calling it a bombing. At this stage, calling it three incidents. But very -- the characteristics of these incidents at tube stations coming within a few minutes of each other, very similar to the attacks of just two weeks ago.
And, of course, the city has been on high alert. The country has been on high alert. The metropolitan -- the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police have said quite publicly within days of the bombings -- he has said he expected there was a very real possibility that other attacks could happen. He said he expected to find an al Qaeda link to those attacks and that they were not sure that there would not be other follow-up attacks.
They have been looking, we understand -- the British police have been searching for what someone who's been characterized as a mastermind who's been behind the attacks. There were speculation in the British media that maybe other bombs were unused in this particular attack. That gave fuel to the theory that there could be other potential bombers out there.
And certainly, the police hadn't knocked down that theory. They had said quite openly that they wanted people to be vigilant, that they expected there was a possibility for other attacks, so whatever these incidents turn out to be, certainly for the people caught up in these incidents, it will be very much on their minds. The warnings from the police, the warnings to be vigilant, the warnings that there was a potential for another attack.
O'BRIEN: All right, Nic...
ROBERTSON: Again, the details only beginning just to come in -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right, Nic, we're going to give you a little breather, give you an opportunity to work the phones here a little bit, get some more information. But just to recap for you, three specific incidents to report here, very sketchy details. Spread apart the London Underground System, two weeks to the day after the attack which killed more than 50 people. That terror attack.
We're still trying to sort out what's going on here. But at this juncture, emergency services are responding, saying there are no casualties. But as we say, three separate stations, fairly well spread apart, are affected -- Carol?
COSTELLO: Yes, one of those stations, the Shepherd Bush. We have an eyewitness from the scene. His name is Bryce Elder. Bryce, are you with me?
BRYCE ELDER, EYEWITNESS, SHEPHERD'S BUSH: Yes, yes, I can hear you fine.
COSTELLO: Were you in the tube at the time?
ELDER: No. No, I wasn't. I was outside on the streets about five minutes away from the tube station. I know the area where the police are around the subway station.
COSTELLO: Did you see the evacuation?
COSTELLO: Did you see the evacuation of that train station?
ELDER: It's not a particularly busy station. The evacuation has been ongoing over the past ten minutes or so. It's a very residential area. There wasn't a great deal of people around. There's basically shifting people from shops and offices in the immediate area. There is no real sense of panic. There's no (INAUDIBLE). There's nothing -- there's no smoke from the station. I spoke to a police officer about ten minutes ago who said there was no explosion that he knows of. It was a suspicious package. The police are now moving us back from the scene by another fifty yards or so...
COSTELLO: Stop for just a second, Bryce. You said -- tell us again what the police officer told you. And, of course, this is not official information, but you said...
ELDER: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) stress, this is one police officer that I spoke to, who admits himself the information he had was sketchy. However, he said there was no explosion at the station that he knew of. He said it was a suspicious package and a number of suspicious packages around town. I believe three, from speaking to other people, but I can't confirm that.
COSTELLO: Did you talk to -- did you talk -- I hear a lot of activity behind you. Explain that to me. I hear sirens, I hear people's voices raised, what's happening? ELDER: I'm sorry, I can't quite hear. There's quite a lot of sirens. Can you repeat the question?
COSTELLO: I was asking you about those sirens and the people's raised voices behind you and what was going on around you?
ELDER: As I say, there is no real sense of panic. There is no ambulances in the area. There's a large police...
COSTELLO: I was just asking you about those sirens and the people's raised voices behind you and what was going on around you?
ELDER: As I say, there is no real sense of panic. There is no ambulances in the area. There's a large police presence. I would say about 50 or 60 police officers. A police helicopter overhead at the moment.
O'BRIEN: We apologize for interrupting but we are going to just -- for just a brief moment, simulcast ITV, Independent Television, in London. They are talking to a witness on what may be a separate incident involving a bus. Listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lots of police around, obviously, and that's it really. It's quite still on (INAUDIBLE) road itself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People at the moment have been taken off that bus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I assume so, yes. I can't actually see -- I can see the bus is (INAUDIBLE), and there still is no (INAUDIBLE) around. They (INAUDIBLE), and I assume everyone's been taken off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, Garris (ph). Thank you for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, just to bring you up to date...
O'BRIEN: All right, that was briefly ITV. We sort of caught the tail end of that, but what we're told is the bus driver apparently had reported some sort of incident, and people were evacuated from that bus.
We got CNN's Matthew Chance who's on the line with us now. He is at the Warren Street Station, one of the trio of stations that are apparently affected on the underground. Matthew, what are you seeing there?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a great sense of confusion on the streets around Warren Street, and right in the center of London. The traffic is gridlocked around the area. I actually had to run from my office to the traffic to get to this position. When I got here, there were hundreds of people on the streets looking very confused. The area around Warren Street Train Station, underground station, which is on both the northern lines, and Victoria lines that crisscross the London metro system. That station has been evacuated. The traffic in the area, the busses, the taxis have been abandoned as well, and police have flung a cordon about 100 yards or so, 100 meters or so, as a perimeter around the train station itself, the underground station itself.
We're not getting very much in terms of details of what exactly has happened. We're hearing these reports of course that there may have been some kind of blast. That not confirmed yet, though, by the police. We've also heard several other unconfirmed reports of violence taking place there. We've also concerns to a (INAUDIBLE) London transport, though, that there are a number of incidents they're looking into at this stage. One at Warren Street, where I'm at now, also another underground station at the Oval in South London, and at Shepherd's Bush in the west of London as well.
As I say, we're not clear at this stage how serious these apparent incidents are. Although London transport saying at this stage there are no casualties that they're having to treat.
Back to you.
O'BRIEN: Obviously very early on. This is still developing, Matthew, and those early reports sketchy at best. We were talking to -- just right before we went to you, we were listening to ITV, Independent Television. And they were talking to a witness on a bus, and there was some sort of incident on a bus. I don't know if you were aware of that at all. Have you heard about that one?
CHANCE: There's been a bus as well that has been evacuated. I'm not clear at whether there's been some kind of device found on it, or whether it's gone off or not. But certainly it seems that a bus, another London bus, in east London on the Hackney Road, on the junction of Columbia Road, has been evacuated as well. I think that was the tail end of one of the passengers onboard that bus that were being interviewed on ITV Television that we were listening into a few moments ago.
But from my vantage point here in central London, I don't have any sort of information on those, that those other attacks. It's difficult enough to be honest to glean information from the immediate surroundings here.
Again, there's a great sense of confusion. Police are not talking about even when they arrived here to me. They're not talking about what exactly they're investigating either on the Warren Street Tube Station.
But certainly these are the kind of scenes we witnessed just a few weeks ago when more than 50 people, of course, were killed in a series of blasts on three underground trains and on a bus again in central London. So these are very ominous signs, and people here are looking very shocked at what's happened in the past few minutes.
O'BRIEN: Ominous indeed. Matthew, have you seen any evidence? As you said just a moment ago, the authorities are saying no casualties, obviously the emergency medical personnel have responded. Have you seen any evidence of that, any smoke on the scene, anything along those lines that would lead you to any conclusions as to what's going on here?
CHANCE: There are emergency workers on the scene, definitely, but I've only seen police vans, policemen as well, also fire engines. The fire brigade are here, you know, as part of the emergency services that are operating around the Warren Street Station.
Actually I haven't personally seen any ambulances at this stage, although there are still fire engines around the area. It's difficult for me to see every street, of course, around here. I wouldn't say categorically there were no ambulances here, but I certainly haven't seen any. I've seen a lot of police and a lot of fire engines here responding to whatever this incident turns out to be.
O'BRIEN: Matthew, I think Carol has a question for you. Go, Carol.
COSTELLO: You know, I was just wondering about the people who have been evacuated from the Warren Street Station. And by the way, an ITN reporter is reporting there's a lot of confusion there, but he's heard of no one injured. Are they detaining the people who were evacuated from that station, Matthew, or are they gone?
CHANCE: Well, by the time I got here, I haven't managed to find anybody at this stage who's actually been evacuated from the station, just people on who are on their way to the station have been turned back or recently got off the station, got off the train before the actual incident took place. It seems that the people who were evacuated from that train, and there must have been hundreds of people on board that train at this time of the day in the mid afternoon around lunch time on this Thursday afternoon here, there must have been hundreds of people that were evacuated. I'm going to get outside in a moment and try and speak to some of them as soon as I can.
All right, we're going to let you search for people to talk to. Just to recap, three lines in London, three subway lines, have been shutdown. Three incidents, that's what authorities are calling them right now. Smoke coming from the stations. That's really all we know, and we know those three stations were evacuated. One is located on the north side of London. One on the south side, one on the west side. There was also some sort of incident on a bus on the east side of London, and that bus was evacuated as well, and we don't know much about that doesn't either.
All of this unfolding within the past hour. The first incident occurring 7:38 Eastern Time, 12:38 p.m. London time. Subsequent incidents at 12:45 p.m. at the Warren Street case. We don't have times on every incident just yet, but we're trying to get that. Clearly a synchronized situation whatever it is, technical failure or something else. But they are widely spread out stations, possibility of a bus involved, and as we have been saying, no casualties yet reported, but clearly police have responded very quickly. They've set up cordons around these stations, and are trying to get to the bottom of what's going on. Let's get...
COSTELLO: The three stations in particular, should we say what they are? Shepherd's Union, Oval and the Warren Street Station. O'BRIEN: Right, and then, as you say, perhaps a bus involved. Nic Robertson is watching things from our London bureau. Nic, what can you tell us?
ROBERTSON: Well, Miles, the police have confirmed they did respond to a fourth incident in the Hackney area of London, the east side of London. That incident apparently involving a bus. Again, they're not saying at this stage what the incident is that they've responded to. We don't have any eyewitness accounts from there yet to give us some dependable information.
But the picture that is emerging is one of four separate incidents, apparently fairly closely timed together. One on the south side of the river, the Oval, one on the west of the city, Shepherd's Bush, one fairly central, Warren Street, on the northern underground tube line, and the fourth one being reported apparently on a bus, the police confirming, responding to that incident in Hackney. That on the eastern side of London. Unlike the bombings of two weeks ago, these particular incidents that the police are responding to are more spread out. They've occurred at the very busy lunchtime period here in London.
Of course, the attacks last week happened when people were on their way to work, the morning rush hour, just before 9:00 in the morning. The first reported incident, 12:38, the second one 12:45 in the afternoon. The third and fourth incidents, again, we don't have exact timings, but it seems that these incidents timed apparently to happen at the same time. These incidents, it seems, timed to occur during the busy lunchtime period where many people will be outside, going to get lunch outside, enjoying the warm weather here in London -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All kinds of reports as to what these incidents might have entailed. There are some reports indicating there was a possibility of a shooting involved. Maybe a detonator went off. Obviously as a story unfolds, we can end up with a lot of bad information. What do we know, if anything at this point, about the specifics as we look at these pictures from the closed-circuit television of these stations? What do we know about the nature of these incidents?
ROBERTSON: Well, we know that these incidents have caused the police to evacuate the stations and evacuate the bus that's believed to be involved in the east side of London. We know that on at least one of these incidents an eyewitness has reported seeing smoke. We know that so far at least there are no reports of casualties in these incidents. We know also that ambulance medical services have been called in to respond to these incidents.
We're not aware yet of whether the fire brigades here have been called in but we do know for certain that police were called in and put in an emergency response to these four incidents. We know that the ambulance service has responded to at least two of the incidents. The one at Oval and the one at Warren Street. But again, no reports of casualties. Only one report of smoke at one of those underground stations -- Miles. COSTELLO: Nic, this is Carol Costello. I was wondering, did they shut the entire subway system down or just those three lines?
ROBERTSON: Well, they've closed the Hammersmith and City branch, the Northern Line and the Victoria Line. Three major lines in the underground network here. There doesn't appear to be anything that's affected the other lines at this stage, but again, this is only very -- this is the initial reports. We don't have timings yet of the incidents from the underground transport system. The people who run the tube network here, they would be able to give perhaps a more accurate account of what's happened in their stations.
Of course, all the stations covered with closed circuit cameras. The control rooms there have been on a heightened state of alert, a heightened state of vigilance over the last two weeks since the last bombings. The police have been warning for the possibility of other attacks. And last night on the streets of London, very,, unusually, the police not confirming why, but a lot of police patrols out on the streets, stopping all the vehicles on certain streets, searching those vehicles as they went down the streets last night. That is very atypical. That is not normal and that was reported in a number of areas over London last night -- Carol.
COSTELLO: And this also comes on the heels of a number of arrests that British authorities have made.
ROBERTSON: Indeed. They have made an arrest in Leeds about a week and a half ago on Tuesday of last week, in fact. They raided ten or issued ten different search warrants in the north of England, arresting one man. He was -- he is still being held for questioning here in London. It is not clear exactly what his involvement may or may not be in the bombings and it's certainly not clear at this stage what information he may or may not have passed to the police. But it has been widely speculated in the British media and widely -- and not the -- the notion that there's a potential, but other attacks has not been knocked down by the police. In fact, the police have said that there was a very, very real possibility of other attacks -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Well, you're reporting this morning on an extremist that they're investigating and he was sort of still stirring the waters.
ROBERTSON: That -- he -- he is somebody who has been very much in the frame of public opinion and very possibly within the police investigation and certainly within the frame of legislation that's being debated here to be passed into law in Britain that would tighten what religious clerics can say about inciting or even implying that it would be a good idea for young men to go and fight in a jihad. He has been seen and listed on government documents -- Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad has been listed on those documents as somebody who's headed an extremist organization, an organization that preaches extremist views. The members of that organization believed to be perhaps as many as 10,000.
In that internal government report, the report said that anyone that attended his meetings could be then inclined to get engaged in terrorist acts. And, indeed, two people who did attend his meeting -- one of his meetings -- went to Israel and -- and one of them (AUDIO GAP) a suicide bomber, blowing himself up in Mikesba (ph), killing three people. That was in 2003. That was after he attended the meeting -- one of the meetings of this radical cleric. And that's why the British media, the British government and the British security forces have been concentrating on him and what he has had to say.
And he was very unapologetic in what he had to say. He said that he condemned the attacks. There was nothing right about the attacks, but they'd been warned by Osama bin Laden that the British government had been warned, indeed -- he said that the British government was to blame because of the war in Iraq and because they weren't listening to the feelings and thoughts within the young Muslim population here. But again, nothing at this stage that would link his statement concretely to the attacks two weeks ago, nothing at this stage that would link his statements to these incidents that have occurred here early this afternoon -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, you're right. There's no evidence of any link, at least so far. But it would add to the panic that people might have felt when they're being evacuated from those stations. I wanted to ask you about security within the stations themselves and on the train cars themselves.
ROBERTSON: It's been tighter. It's been very, very much tighter. I noticed myself, traveling through the underground station, a much higher number of police, not only in the stations, but at around the stations, on the streets of London. A much more visible presence. Police wearing the reflective -- very bright reflective jackets. Again, raising their profile, making sure that people can see them as a reassurance.
We also understand that the British Transport Police have been putting people on the underground trains to -- to assure people that they're safe and raise people's feelings of safety and security on the stations. We also understand that sniffer dogs have been used on the underground trains, as well. Again, this an effort to show potential bombers that they cannot get away with leaving explosives on the trains, and again, to reassure the public that the police are active in trying to ensure their security -- Carol.
O'BRIEN: Nic, it's Miles. As we look on the right-hand side of the screen here, where I believe we have an aerial shot of that bus that might have been involved in the incident in the Hackney section, east part of London. But Nic, let's talk about some quite obvious parallels here. We're talking two weeks to the day -- not to the moment, of course, because it was a morning rush hour attack when 56 were killed in those previous attacks. But three stations, and one bus. You can't help draw some conclusions here. We should be careful about doing that, but nevertheless, the parallels are haunting.
ROBERTSON: The parallels are haunting at this stage. The three reports of incidents on the underground system, followed by then a report of an incident involving a bus, exactly parallels what happened to two weeks ago. The three underground stations involved in the bombings -- those incidents reported first. Within an hour, another report, that of a bomb going off on a bus.
Again, not clear what has happened in these incidents that are reported today, but the parallels very, very clear. Not only that, these have all happened in central London. They haven't happened in another city in Britain. It's all happening in central London, perhaps a little more spread out than what occurred two weeks ago.
Again, the incidents, just to recap, in the West of the city, in the south of the city, in the east of the city, and fairly central in the city. Certainly for people that are just beginning to hear about this news and information, something that will concern them greatly until those details become much clearer of exactly what has happened -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: And no system-wide shutdown reported. Three lines of the underground are, in fact, shut down. The busses, as we understand it, are still running. And as we said, no firm reports of any casualties in what appear to be four disparate and yet synchronized events, two weeks to the day after the terror attacks on the London Underground and London transportation, which we have been telling you so much about -- Carol.
COSTELLO: I believe we have Matthew Chance. He as at one of the stations affected, the Warren Street Station -- Matthew.
CHANCE: Yes, Carol, details still very sketchy from Warren Street, as well. It's the station right in the middle of central London, just off Tottenham Court Road, one of the main thoroughfares in central London. I've managed to speak to one of the police officers at the scene. They're being pretty tight-lipped about what details they can tell us. And perhaps they don't know that much themselves. It's been so soon since these explosions took place.
But it does seem, according to the policeman here at Warren Street, that they're confirming that an explosive device did detonate on an underground train near the Warren Street train station. They also confirmed that all emergency services are here. I know we spoke a few moments ago and I said I hadn't seen any ambulances. I can now tell you, not only are there ambulances and police and fire engines here, but also, the bomb squad, as well, which, according to the police is a standard reaction to these kinds of incidents as they're occurring now in central London.
I've also spoken to some people in the area. No actual eyewitnesses at this stage, from my point of view, but certainly people who were in the area when the explosion took place and when the evacuation of Warren Street tube station took place. They spoke of their wariness that these kinds of attacks now. Again, it was only two weeks ago to the day that we saw another sequence of synchronized attacks across central London in trains and on a bus. Very similar, indeed, to what we seem to be witnessing now. People also talking...
COSTELLO: Matthew, may I interrupt you for just a second? Because you took me aback. You said an explosive device was found near the Warren Street Station? CHANCE: What I was trying to say then is that it's the Warren Street track train station that's been evacuation. Whether the device exploded actually inside the Warren Street Station or whether it was on a rail as it left Warren Street to arrive in -- or before it arrived into Warren Street, that's what I'm not exactly clear about.
COSTELLO: OK, but an explosive -- an explosive device was found. Do we know anything more about what kind it was?
CHANCE: No, we don't. I've had this conversation with police officers at the scene here at Warren Street. They do say that it's been an explosion. They say that -- they say that the bomb squad has arrived to investigate it. They're also saying that, as far as they're concerned, as far as they know, there are no casualties at this stage. And so, if it was a bomb, maybe it wasn't a very big one or a very successful one, in terms of the damage it caused.
COSTELLO: But they did explode it, the bomb squad, that is?
CHANCE: The bomb squad have been called, I think, so check for other devices. I think that would be the standard response in situations like this.
Our understanding at this stage, Carol, a device has detonated at the Warren Street Train Station. And the Warren Street Train Station is the only place I can really talk about with authority at this stage, because that's where I am.
I've spoken to the police here. They say that in response to that they've evacuated the station. There are no casualties to report at this stage. And they've called all the emergency services, the ambulances, the bomb squad, the fire brigade as well to address the situation. In the meantime, they've sealed off the whole area and are preventing anybody going close within 100 yards of the Warren Street Train Station.
COSTELLO: Nic Robertson was reporting earlier that last night there was an increased police presence in London around train stations. Do you know anything more about that?
CHANCE: Well, it's something that's been noted, that occasionally, over the past several weeks, perhaps it's in response to these synchronized attacks that took place two weeks ago, there have been, at times, increased presences of police at various train stations.
It's not clear, however, at this stage, that the police had any particular information about last night. What I can tell you, or last night when they responded like that, what I can tell you is that people in the city, the police services, citizens of London, as well, are extremely jumpy.
It's only been two weeks since more than 50 people, more than 55 people now, confirmed dead after those synchronized attacks across central London. People are very concerned about the possibility of other attacks. This is their worst nightmare, and they seem to be engulfed in it again today, Carl.
COSTELLO: Matthew, we're getting reports of one person injured at the Warren Street Station. And where did we get that information? I missed it.
London transport police are reporting that right now. Are there any more people around you, Matthew, that have been evacuated? Have you managed to find one to speak to?
CHANCE: There aren't any people at this location that I can find that have been evacuated from the actual train where the blast went off. There were a lot of people who were heading towards the train. There were a lot of people who got off the train before the emergency was declared.
And of course a lot of people in the local area, people who own shops, people who live in this area, as well, they have expressed, obviously, their anger, their wariness.
Many people I've spoken to have said they tried to contact family members and friends who they know were traveling on board this -- these trains across central London because there were a series of incidents, obviously, that we're reporting to you across central London.
Again, much the same kind of reaction people had two weeks ago when those attacks took place that was so -- were so deadly. And so we're going to go out there again. We're going to try and talk to more people to get more information.
COSTELLO: OK. Before you go, Matthew, since we've reached the top of the hour, can you recap what has happened and what information that you have from the Warren Street Station?
CHANCE: Absolutely. Well, I can tell you that from this vantage point I've only got access to information at one of the locations where there are apparent incidents. I'm at the Warren Street Train Station, underground subway station, in central London, just off Tottenham Court Road, which is one of the main thoroughfares in central London.
I've spoken to police here at Warren Street who have sealed off the whole area with a tight cordon, and they're telling me that a device has exploded inside a train in and around the Warren Street Train Station. By that, I mean within a short distance from the Warren Street Train Station but actually inside the tunnels, on a train.
At this stage, the police here -- this is being contradicted by London Transport at the moment -- the police at Warren Street are saying they're not aware of any injuries, but obviously, that could change as police and emergency teams get to the area that's been affected.
But we know that fire brigades, engines, are on the scene. Police are on the scene. Ambulances are on the scene with medical staff, as well as members of the British bomb squad, who are here as well to try and clear the area to make sure it's safe for people to get back on board the trains or to resume their journeys.
COSTELLO: All right. Matthew Chance, reporting live for us from the Warren Street Station in central London. That's on the North Line, I believe, of the subway system there. And maybe, you know, Nic Robertson was reporting that smoke came from one of the stations and maybe that was, indeed, Warren Street Station.
O'BRIEN: That would certainly not conflict with what we've heard thus far.
Let's just reset things for you. A little after 2 p.m. London Time right now. This all began about 12:38 a.m., thereabouts, local time, there in London, 7:38 a.m. Eastern Time.
Ambulances were called, first to the Oval Station. Just about seven minutes later a call came in from the Warren Street Station. And then sometime in that same general time frame, we don't have a specific time, Shepherd's Bush Station, also an incident there.
And then separate, and on then right-hand side of your map here a bus, a double-decker bus at the Hackney section of London reports there that some sort of explosion on that bus which blew out windows.
Now, we've had reports initially that there were no casualties. That has ban mended to indicate that there's at least one injury as a result of all of this. I believe at the Warren Street Station, where Matthew Chance has been reporting there was in fact something that was detonated there.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has canceled a morning visit to a school and is obviously monitoring things. The White House is apparently tracking things, as well, on this side of the ocean. And we are watching it for you, as well.
Once again, haunting parallels. Here we are, talking two weeks later. Let's listen, if we could, to ITV television as these witnesses tell their accounts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the smell I could tell it wasn't our carriage, because presumably the person who will run first from the carriage must have been sitting next to something. I don't know whether -- I'm not going to say it's a bomb. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you see any packages, anything like that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. All I saw -- all I saw was people running for their lives, and there was no room for me to get away to the next carriage. There was no way I could get away from it. All I did is wait for it to happen...
O'BRIEN: Brief excerpt from a witness there. Obviously, backing up what we've been saying this morn as the story's unfolding. These separate and yet synchronized incidents two weeks to the day after this. Once again, three underground stops, once again a bus involved.
And let's turn it back over to Nic Robertson, who's on the streets of London. Nic, what are you hearing?
ROBERTSON: Well, Miles, we're getting some information from one of our producers at the Oval Tube Station. She reports that she talked to an eyewitness, a woman who was on the tube.
The woman just says that she didn't hear an explosion, didn't hear a bang. The first thing that she became aware of with this incident, she said, were people pushing into her carriage.
She does, however, report smelling -- smelling a sour smell. This associated with some smoke there on that train. But again, whatever the incident was, according to this witness who was in an adjoining carriage to where the incident took place, the bang, if there was one, wasn't loud. But there was a smell associated with it.
Whatever the incident was caused people in that carriage to panic. They pushed into her carriage on the underground train. There are connecting doors between the carriages so you can move from one part of the train to another. People pushed through from the carriage where the incident occurred, pushed into hers. She didn't hear the bang, but she did say that she could smell a sour smell associated with that incident, Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic, just from what we've heard thus far about these incidents, what we're hearing about are explosions of not near the intensity of two weeks ago.
ROBERTSON: That's correct. The explosions that occurred two weeks ago ripped through trains. People were coming out after that bloodied with smoke on their faces, some of them with horrendous injuries.
But some of the first people to come out, the first eyewitnesses, had visibly been through a very traumatic experience, covered in smoke, some of them -- some of them very bloodied.
The people that we're talking to who have come through these incidents today do not appear to be heavily injured. Are reporting that they either didn't hear an explosion associated with the incident, reporting seeing smoke.
Again, the characteristics are very similar. Three incidents on underground trains followed by an incident on a bus, all in very short order. The reports all coming in within the space of a half hour or so starting at 12:38 p.m. lunchtime here in London. But the difference being...
O'BRIEN: Nic, we just want to briefly tell viewers what they're seeing. This is Hackney Road. This is where that bus incident occurred right around the same time frame. That, obviously, is not the bus. That's a police emergency vehicle. But we do have some pictures coming in from that general vicinity. Just wanted to let people know what they are seeing. Go ahead, Nic. ROBERTSON: And I think these pictures are going to be very telling, Miles. The bus that was destroyed during the bombing two weeks ago, the top was completely ripped off, obviously, a very large explosion.
What we're hearing about today are incidents that seem to be centered on small explosions, the release of some smoke, and at least one person reporting smelling a sour smell. But I think we will certainly get a much better idea of exactly what's happened when we can see -- when we can see the vehicles involved.
O'BRIEN: And as we look at that shot from Hackney Road, we should point out that the early reports are that there was an explosive device on the top deck of a double-decker bus there. And windows were blown out, and there were no injuries reported in that. So once again, leading us down that road to indicating not same type of -- while apparently copycat, not an identical attack?
ROBERTSON: There are endless possibilities here, obviously, for speculation, Miles. Copycat might be one. Sending a message without killing people might be another. It's just not clear exactly what it was.
But it very definitely is something that was, again, clearly coordinated. And as we heard two weeks ago the police believed at that time the coordination gave credence to their view this would be linked, something the attack two weeks ago would be linked to al Qaeda.
Again, we're seeing the same coordination, the same type of timing. Again, targeting it seems to be, the incidents targeting people during the busier lunchtime period when people would naturally be out of their offices trying to find lunch -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic, you may not be able to hear me, but I'm going to try to press on. Hopefully, you can now that that ambulance as passed. But just give us a sense. You've obviously ridden the tube quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, what it's been like. What the -- much has said about how Londoners react and take things like this in stride. But nevertheless, people have got to be on a high sense of alert, a sense of vigilance that they didn't have before.
ROBERTSON: And indeed the police have warned them to be on a higher state of alert. And that warning has been followed up by the very fact that people can see more police at station. Sniffer dogs have been on the trains.
But as you ride, it's on the trains, it's almost a muted experience that people are very definitely concerned and have been concerned.
But again, it's -- it is -- life goes on as normal. People taking this in their stride. In fact, that has been, really, one of the striking characteristics about what has happened. That it hasn't been widespread fear and panic. But in the immediate days after -- after the attack two weeks ago, there were quite a high number of stations closed, quite a high number of potential bombs reported, people reporting seeing packages left lying around. The police appealed to people to look after their packages. There were warnings of people being fined if they just indiscriminately left their belongings lying around on the trains, on the Underground system.
And people do seem to have taken that to heart. They do seem to have cut down on the erroneous bomb threat warnings. Stations haven't been closed. And people really have, when you ride on the Underground, people just are going to work. It's -- they have, if you will, taken it in their stride, Miles.
COSTELLO: But Nic, can I just interject for just a second here. The London authorities decided to reopen mass transit in London. People, you know, are riding the trains and the buses. Might they have opened them up too soon?
ROBERTSON: I -- that would be -- I think probably they would (AUDIO GAP) London is an incredibly busy city. Millions of people depend on the transport network here for their jobs. The economy of the country depends on this city functioning normally. And there was every encouragement given for people to come back to work quickly. The security was stepped up.
Again, what is interesting, there seem to be increased security measures with the stopping and checking of vehicles overnight last night. Did the security services have an idea that this might be coming? Not clear.
But the very fact that the transport network was started up again, the security was started up again, really lends more to the fact that London cannot afford to stop still. And they have said, and Tony Blair has said, other leaders in Britain have said, President Bush has also said that you will be defeated by the terrorists if you give in, if you allow them to top you going to work, if you allow them to prevent you doing your jobs. Then they're going to win, because they're going to target the economy.
We know that Osama bin Laden has said that targeting the economy of the western world is one of his aims. That's why he -- that's why he targeted the World Trade Centers.
One of the radical British clerics yesterday referred back to Osama bin Laden's warning to Britain last year, warning that Britain needed -- needed to reexamine its policy towards Muslims around the world.
So there definitely has been an economic focus to al Qaeda's attacks. And very much that's why Britain, it seems, is wanting to get back and carry on working as normal, Carol.
COSTELLO: All right. Nic Robertson, we'll get back to you.
We have Phil Hirschkorn, one of our producers at the Oval Tube Station. And that's where Nic was saying to us that one witness smelled a sour smell inside of a train and perhaps there was smoke. But let's ask Phil for more.
Phil, what do you know?
PHIL HIRSCHKORN, CNN PRODUCER: Well, let me just set the scene for you, especially for our viewers like me, frankly, who aren't from London.
I'm in the residential neighborhood, which is really what the Oval Station is. According to London transport officials, this is not one of the busiest stations in the London tube. However, this is one of the two, as we've been reporting, that has been shut down.
There are -- it's a quiet street. There are a number of police and fire vehicles. There are some police with dogs that are here. There's about a two-block, you know, length of street that has been cordoned off. In fact, the police in the last few minutes pushed us back, the metropolitan police that have been leading the terrorism investigation from the beginning.
For people who know London this station is near the Oval Cricket Grounds, which is a popular stadium for cricket. There's nothing happening there today. And really, by the time we got here, we didn't see any passengers who may have evacuated the station. It's been closed now for some time. If there were smells of smoke earlier, not right now.
But clearly, the police are probing. They've pushed us back. There are fire department personnel here, as well as the police. And you would probably assume that they are still checking for any kind of devices that could cause damage.
Also the London transport people have told us no casualties at this station. We don't know about arrests. The police are being very tight-lipped. This is the station that connects directly on the so- called Northern Line with the Warren Street Station, which is the other tube station that's involved in this.
And otherwise, it's pretty quiet here. And the police are just meticulously going about their business.
COSTELLO: I just want to interject something we just got from the London police. Three small explosive devices were detonated, apparently by the bomb squad. We think, at least -- we don't know for sure, not sure, in those subway stations.
O'BRIEN: Could be either way.
COSTELLO: Could be either way. We know at the Warren Street Station that the bomb squad detonated an explosive device, but we don't know what kind it was. We don't know if it was inside a train car or near the station. That's what Matthew Chance has been reporting.
One more question for you, Phil. Nic Robertson said that a woman on board the train did not hear an explosion but she smelled a sour smell. The first indication that she got that something was going wrong was when someone pushed her from behind. Are you hearing any more about that?
HIRSCHKORN: Unfortunately, no. We haven't seen any passengers. Those that might have been here initially seemed to have dispersed. The station is closed, and we're being kept back.
In terms of any smells or worries about explosives, not 100 percent sure what's going on. It appeared they are very carefully looking into that and combing the station. But now that we're being kept some distance away, it's hard to say for sure what they're doing, what they are finding.
O'BRIEN: Phil, it's Miles O'Brien here. Quick question for you. Just getting to your location -- I assume you got there by car. What did you see across the city of London? Any evidence of other activity: cordons, buses being stopped that sort of thing?
HIRSCHKORN: Well, it's interesting that you ask that question. And you're showing your Americaness, Miles. We're here in Europe, and everyone seems to have a scooter, including one of our producers in the London bureau, who gave me a ride on the scooter.
It's about 15 minutes to where we are. You have to cross the Thames River into South London, about 15 minutes from the Westminster area where much of the government and CNN is located.
And we expected to run into traffic jams. We actually did not. It was a very smooth scooter ride, except for my nervousness being on the back of the scooter. And other than a few police vehicles and sirens headed in that direction, it was actually quite calm on the streets. And there was no gridlock to peek of.
O'BRIEN: Well, that must have surprised you a little bit, Phil, given all that's going on here. Just to restate, we have only word of three subway lines being shut down, Hammersmith and City, Victoria and Northern. And two weeks ago there was a much more widespread shutdown in the wake of those bombs.
HIRSCHKORN: Well, you also had immediate casualties and quite serious explosions. So, while we don't know what the damage is here, so to speak, there's no casualty reports that we're aware of, certainly not the Oval Station. And not to diminish the seriousness of this, but whatever has happened here appears to not be as traumatic or tragic as what happened two weeks ago today, Miles.
COSTELLO: You know what, Phil? I'm also curious as to how you all reacted when you first got word that something was happening at three different -- on three different subway lines and possibly a bus.
HIRSCHKORN: Well, speaking as a New Yorker who's -- you know, visiting here in London and helping our coverage of the investigation two weeks ago, I immediately had a flashback to 9/11.
And in New York, for days and weeks after 9/11, we had, day after day, subway stoppages, false alarms, and many police incidents, much like this one, where there was suspicious packages, where streets get shut down. We continue to have them in New York, but not as frequently. It's become fairly routine in New York.
In London the metropolitan police have said over and over again they've trained and trained for years for these types of incidents. We clearly saw that two weeks ago. And they very quickly responded to this incident.
But certainly anyone who was in New York on 9/11 or anyone who was here two weeks ago must have had the eerie feeling, oh, here we go again.
COSTELLO: And plus, Phil, there was an increased police presence on the streets of London last night. We don't know why exactly. We don't know if there was any specific threat they were investigating. But this must be so frustrating to authorities.
HIRSCHKORN: It could be. But clearly the London police, like the New York police and other major law enforcement agencies, train for this. They're prepared for this. They have a plan. The police we have encountered here are very calm. They're very by the book.
They have numerous vehicles here, inspecting the scene, fire, police, dogs. All checking things out very methodically. And while we don't know exactly what they're finding yet, it seems that they have taking this in stride and doing what they clearly are trained to do.
O'BRIEN: Let me just interject. We got a little bit more information here.
First of all, it was the Number 26 bus, for those who would know what that means in London, which goes from Waterloo to Hackney, where a small explosive device blew out some windows. No reports of injuries on that bus.
And authorities there are reporting now there were three small explosions, not detonated by the bomb squad or authorities there. Three small explosions in and around the three subway stations, Underground stations that you see here, Oval, Shepherd's Bush and Warren Street.
Phil Hirschkorn is at Oval right now, just giving us a sense of the scene. I'm just curious, Phil, are there a lot of people milling about? Is there a police cordon? And what's the general reaction there among people you've been running into?
HIRSCHKORN: The reaction is quiet, because there really aren't very many people here. It's a residential area. So probably most of the people that live here are at work or someplace else. It's not a crowded part of town, and it's not one of the most crowded tube stops. So frankly, I don't really have the civilian reaction for you just yet.
O'BRIEN: OK. Well, I'm sure there will be plenty of that and plenty of time -- you mentioned a few moments ago, Phil, that this is not as traumatic or tragic as what happened two weeks ago. But in the wake of what happened two weeks ago, I'm sure Londoners right now are shaken quite a bit, given what they're hearing and the haunting parallels here, even though what we're saying now, of course, is that these devices were small explosive devices, not reports of widespread casualties here.
We did have one report of an injury. That's all we have thus far in something that happened a couple of hours ago now. Three separate Underground stations in almost simultaneous as well as a double-decker bus on the eastern part of London.
We've been getting some firsthand reports from witnesses. They've been trickling in. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It smelled like rubber or wire. And it got a bit worse. And then suddenly people were starting screaming and shouting and running to get to the second carriage.
But I could -- from the smell I could tell it wasn't our carriage. Presumably the person who run first from the carriage must have been sitting next to something. I don't know whether -- I'm not going to say it's a bomb. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you see -- could you see any packages, anything like that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. All I saw -- all I saw was people running for their lives, and there was no room for me to get away to the next carriage. There was no way I could get away from it. All I did was say a prayer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: All right. Just one witness giving an indication of what has gone on just in the past couple of hours in London on this two weeks after the terror attack which took the lives of 55, 56 people.
CNN's Matthew Chance is near the Warren Street Station, one of the three stations involved in this. And there's a report, Matthew, according to some witnesses there, that apparently, a backpack exploded. Have you been able to verify that one?
CHANCE: No, I haven't. Although I have heard those reports from witnesses who were on the train, that it was an individual carrying a backpack. The backpack exploded, but it was a very small explosion that didn't do much apart from destroy the actual backpack.
I'm also hearing reports from eyewitnesses, saying that they heard the person who was carrying that backpack -- let out an exclamation were the words they used, which may be an understatement, given the situation. What I can tell you is that, above ground, there's a great sense of confusion here at Warren Street in central London. It's, of course, the middle of the day here in London.
The explosion here, which police have said was indeed an explosion and which they're now investigating, would have taken place when the tube train, the Underground train station here at Warren Street would have been extremely crowded with people.
There are many hundreds of people above the surface now. Mainly people who are on their way to the train station or to their places of work or back home and simply being not allowed to go through the streets they would normally walk through or onto the buses or onto the subway trains they would normally take home or to work.
Because police here in considerable numbers have thrown a tight security cordon around the Warren Street Subway Station at this stage, about 100 yards back from the entrance of Warren Street. We have police forces, both the London police force and the British Transport Police here as well.
Emergency services are on the scene, ambulances, fire brigades and also people from the bomb squad to try and check if there are any other devices in the area that need to be detonated. Though we have to stress, they say they haven't detonated, themselves, any explosions yet.
We've also seen members of the security forces wearing chemical suits and gas masks in preparation, we believe, to go down into the subway itself and to conduct their investigations there to see if there's any hazardous material, wearing those suits just in case there may be any hazardous material that spilled out as a result of the explosion.
O'BRIEN: Just to be clear as clear as we can here, everybody we've spoken to thus far this morning, we haven't seen any evidence of an urgent ongoing rescue effort, trying to get casualties from underground to safety. Is that correct?
CHANCE: Well, certainly all of the emergency services are here. We've got ambulances. We've got fire engines. We've got police. We've got the bomb squad. All the standard response units that are called out in incidents like this are out on the streets.
We're also getting, from the police, they're not reporting, at least here at Warren Street, that's the only station, the only place where there's an explosion that I can comment on with authority at this stage, because it's very difficult, communications here, as you can imagine, at the moment. They're saying there are no casualties to speak of at this stage. There are conflicting reports about that.
Some elements of the British police, at least transport police, are quoted on the news wires as saying there's at least one casualty. That has not confirmed to us yet.
But often, it's the case, Miles, in situations like this, police are very unwilling to talk about any casualties that exist until those casualties are absolutely confirmed. And so it does often take a long period of time, relatively long period of time, for any casualties that may have been caused by this explosion to be reported to us in the media.
I can tell you now the police have stepped into where we are now. And there are hundreds of people are here. They're moving us back even further from Warren Street Train Station. I'm not sure why that is. But they seem to be moving us back with some degree of urgency at this stage, further up Tottenham Court Road, towards the Euston Road, again, two of the main thoroughfares through central London.
Whether or not the network of Underground trains here in London have been ground to a halt. I understand just three lines that have been frozen at this stage. Certainly these incidents across central London, including the bus, as well, remember, have brought the capital to a grinding halt in some of the areas, at least, that we've been visiting, Miles.
O'BRIEN: Matthew, yes, it's three lines, the Hammersmith and City, Victoria, and Northern Lines that are shut down at the moment. That's all we have word on.
I'm curious, just from your daily use of the tube system there, midday ridership, which is what we're talking, just after noon local time, is it very heavy?
CHANCE: You know, it's always heavy in London. It's such an overcrowded city. There are so many millions of people. There's something like seven or eight million people here, living and working in the city. And the underground train station is a very overloaded system, indeed.
It's very old, as well, as we often reported to you over the past few weeks. It often comes under a lot of strain. It's often very crowded.
Having said that, in the midday, in the middle of the day, it's obviously not as crowded as it would be in the early mornings, when people are trying to get to work or in the late afternoon, the early evenings when people are trying to get home from work, but during the rush hour it's absolutely jam packed. Really like sardines almost, people inside, crammed inside those carriages.
That's what it was like two weeks ago when those bombs, those synchronized explosions, were detonated across central London. It must have been absolute -- well, we know it was absolute carnage.
I mean, I can't say for sure how many people, obviously, were on board the train at the moment. It still would have been in the hundreds in the midday time period, where these explosions appear to have taken place. But I think it's probably correct to say that these trains would not have been anywhere near as crowded as they would have been in the rush hours in the morning and in the early evening, Miles.
O'BRIEN: We are getting word that British Prime Minister Tony Blair, at 10 Downing Street, will address the nation and for that matter the world in about a half an hour's time. We will, of course, bring that to you live.
Matthew, are you still being brushed back? And do you have any indication from the authorities as to why they are making the cordon bigger there?
CHANCE: No. We are still being brushed back, being pushed back, at least another 100 yards or so. We're going to be a couple hundred yards back from the entrance of the train station now. Police are sort of moving people out of their shops and stores, as well, and asking them to close down the shops and stores, and moving people quite the way now to clear a long area between the crowds of people that have gathered or that have been held up at (INAUDIBLE) cordon. And the actual area around the site where the explosion took place inside the Warren Street train station. Perhaps in a moment I'll be able to speak to some officers, and they may be able to give us some clarity on that.
They're also saying that within the next hour or so, there will be people who will be more authorized to speak to the media, who will come down from these various locations and to give us sort of updates on the information that they have. But these individual officers that we've been speaking to on the side, they're not really very comfortable with giving us information about what exactly they're being told at this stage.
O'BRIEN: All right, Matthew Chance. We'll give you an opportunity to put the phone down and get your notebook out and we'll get back with you very shortly -- Carol.
COSTELLO: It's 9:30. We want to bring our viewers up to date right now, since we hit the half hour. Three small devices have exploded at three separate underground subway stations in London. It's just two weeks after the July 7th terror attacks. The stations involved, Warren, Oval, Shepherd's Bush. We do know, an explosive device was found at Oval. We don't know if it exploded on its own. Matthew Chance is reporting he doesn't believe the bomb squad exploded that device, but we just don't know right now.
Also on the east side of London, I believe near Hackney Street -- that is correct -- there was apparently a small explosive device on the top part of a double-decker bus. The bus driver reports, according to CNN wires, that the driver says, this was the 26th bus, he heard a bang from the top of his bus and the explosion blew out the windows, but no injuries are reported there.
Also, the prime minister, Tony Blair, will speak at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. That's in about one half hour. Also, President Bush has been briefed on all of this. And we're trying to get some reaction from the White House right now.
Shall we go to Elaine Quijano? I hear us trying to get Elaine.
Elaine, can you hear us?
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, I'm here. Can you hear me?
COSTELLO: I can indeed.
President Bush has been briefed. Is he saying anything?
QUIJANO: At this point the White House striking a very cautious tone. As you mentioned, obviously this information still coming in. But the White House spokesman said that President Bush in fact this morning, had been briefed by his national security adviser Steven Hadley, as well as White House chief of staff, Andy Card. They of course continue to monitor the situation very closely. But details are still coming in. We hope to learn a little bit more. About eight minutes from now is when the regular off-camera briefing is scheduled to take place here. So we might have more details then. Other than that then, they say that they continuing to see these reports unfold on television, and president has been briefed -- Carol.
COSTELLO: And I would imagine that President Bush is keeping in close contact with Tony Blair...
QUIJANO: At this point, unclear whether or not there has been communication at this point this morning. Obviously with the situation still developing there, one of the concerns has always been to ensure that the administration does not get in the way of any kind of efforts.
There was of course talk during the G8 summit that -- some rumors that President Bush might make a stopover in the immediate aftermath of the London bombings there, but certainly they decided not to do that. There has been, of course, very close ties, as you know, with the British government and this administration on the issue of terrorism specifically. But we are not sure at this particular point if the president has in fact been in contact with the prime minister this morning -- Carol.
COSTELLO: All right, we're just getting some updated information. Elaine Quijano, live from the White House right now.
Ian Blair, the commissioner of police, says the casualties -- this is the commissioner of police in London, I should make it clear. Casualties are low, and the explosive devices were small. He called them "bombs" for the first time, however.
O'BRIEN: OK, so that -- the road we have been heading down I just that. We had initial reports that perhaps the bomb squad had diffused some devices. But what is now coming out is that there were three separate explosions, small devices, limiting casualties. And then an additional explosion on top of the double-decker bus. Once again, no injuries reported there, some windows broken out.
You have to start thinking about -- asking some questions about copycat, whether this is a -- some sort of message that terrorists might offer up to say even in the wake of all of this, with all of the security you think you have imposed, the possibility of this still exists. We've been getting some witness accounts, and they've been slowly trickling in. Our sister network, ITN, has this. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen anything, but I was experiencing firsthand. I was in the carriage. I was reading my book, going northbound on the train, on the Victoria Line, when we suddenly smelled -- we started to smell like burning wires or rubber, but it was a mixture of the both of them, but then suddenly everybody started to panic and run in from the carriage to the next carriage. And there was a general panic, for everyone was panicking, and everyone was making their way to the next carriage. And there was screaming everyone where.
So I have with me in my hand some shoes of people who left them behind. One lady, she left both her shoes I think she went home bare feet or something. And there was no way you could get out of the carriage, because the door is so narrow. The one thing came to my mind is just wait for it to happen. I knew it was a bomb, but I made my -- I said my prayers and just waited for it to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Obviously a gripping account there. You can only imagine the degree of panic that would occur in the wake of something like this, people literally running out of their shoes trying to get to safety.
CNN's Nic Robertson is on the streets of London and has been with us since the very beginning, the first reports on all of this. He's joined by a guest.
COSTELLO: Let me interrupt you for just a second, Miles. The Union College London hospital is -- University College London hospital, I want to get that right, is reporting some kind of incident has just happened there.
COSTELLO: That's all we know, that the police have been deployed to the hospital, and that's pretty much all we know.
O'BRIEN: Police have been deployed, and I'm just going to pose this question, is this the normal response that would be to take care of people who are injured, or perhaps something else going on there.
Nic Robertson, do you know anything about this?
ROBERTSON: Well, Miles, we know that they were armed police that were deploy to the hospital. This would not be normal for armed police to be sent to the hospital in this case. Of course, with every emergency incident, the police would respond, would assist ambulance services, and would perhaps be following witnesses to the hospital to get witness statements. That would normally happen after people have been treated. This is interesting, a very, very interesting development, that armed police have been sent to the hospital. It would tend to indicate at this time, and we can only say indicate, it would tend to indicate that there is somebody in the hospital that the police believes a threat. That's why they would have gone in with weapons. (INAUDIBLE) ... at this stage, who that person may be, or even if they were connected with these explosive incidents, but that is a very significant development at this stage, armed police entering that hospital.
Miles, just to get a little bit more analysis, if you will, on what may have happened with bombings, I'm joined by Shane Brighton.
Shane, you study terrorist incidents. What can you learn, what can we learn from what we've seen so far today?
SHANE BRIGHTON, TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, looking at evidence that's in front of us, there are clear continuities with the earlier incidents of this month. These are multi-sighted, but simultaneous, and so the pattern is very similar.
What we see to be getting is evidence that it's nothing like a serious. The tubes wouldn't be as crowded as they were when the bombs went off before at this time of day, and there also seem to be more peripheral stations; this isn't in the heart of London in quite the same way that the other attacks were. So what exactly is happening, it's not clear. These may be devices that haven't triggered properly.
ROBERTSON: One analyst I spoke to a little earlier told me that he thought that the sour smell people were smelling could be the detonators going off. Is there a possibility here that these people had explosives and the explosives didn't go off?
BRIGHTON: Well, it might be that the explosives have corrupted over time if their homemade devices. Some explosives don't last that long once they're mixed.
The fact that they're use the term "detonators" though, specifically detonators, does indicate that this might be a serious device that we're talking about, rather than something that's been hooked up at home by a real amateur.
ROBERTSON: So there is a real possibility this could have been much worse?
BRIGHTON: It could have been certainly if these were serious devices and they had gone off probably, it would have been much worse, of course.
ROBERTSON: The very fact that they didn't go off, we're hearing these reports now of armed police going to hospital, could there potentially be in this live witnesses, perhaps people who may well haven't have been the bombers, who have survived? Could this have happened? And how could that help police with their inquiries?
BRIGHTON: Well, we're getting partial reports that somebody may have been tackled and have been caught. Now clearly, they would be an extremely significant witness, or somebody that could be of great help in investigating what was going on.
What's not clear any way, though, in any way shape or form, that this is the same group, or an extension of the group that launched the earlier attacks.
ROBERTSON: If the police have somebody that was involved with these bombs, what are they going to be asking them?
BRIGHTON: I think in the first instance, it depends how -- the report we've had is that they were injured in the blast, or the partial blast. Depends on what state they're in. But they're certainly going to be wanting to find out if there's any likelihood of an immediate threat. That's going to be number-one priority, is to rule out the fact that we're going to have to deal with anything else today.
ROBERTSON: When you heard Sir Ian Blair, the commission of the police, warning there was potential for more attacks, did you take that seriously?
BRIGHTON: I think it's certainly something that had to be assumed to be the case. I think it would be complacent not to. The fact that there was more explosives found in the immediate follow-up to these devices did indicate that there's a capability over and above that that was used in the earlier attacks.
ROBERTSON: Other explosion were found as part of the investigation?
BRIGHTON: Correct, yes, they were found -- there was evidence of them in Leeds, but also in the car in Luton, I believe, there was a controlled explosion and evidence of other explosives there.
ROBERTSON: Your read of today's situation, it could have been far worse, and in fact, there may be bigger explosives that didn't go off, but it could provide police with significant leads?
BRIGHTON: I think that's correct, yes. We could have been looking at something much worse. But on the evidence of it, it doesn't look like anything like as significant an incident as the one we experienced recently.
ROBERTSON: Shane Brighton, thank you very much.
Miles, the implications not only of the armed police going into the hospital, the implications that these devices, if they were devices, police talking now about bombs, that they didn't go off, clearly could provide the police with exactly the type of clues that were missing after the attacks two weeks ago. Of course, everything -- the clues to what constituted the bombs, how they were made, who made them, what they were made up of, all of that was destroyed in those explosions two weeks ago. Perhaps from what has happened today, the police may get -- now get some much stronger leads on what -- who is behind these attacks -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic, I don't know if Shane can hear me, and if they can, if you can relay this to him, I'm curious about what is the probability, though, of four duds occurring? In other words, if there were four larger bombs for all of them to fail?
ROBERTSON: Shane, I think can you hear?
O'BRIEN: I did. I mean, if it was the same batch of homemade explosives that somehow had degenerated since it was made or hadn't been put together properly, then the probability of four duds simultaneously is quite high. The other possibility of course is that these are very low-grade, kind of hoax devices that are there to cause panic rather than real damage. We just don't know on the face of it at the moment.
ROBERTSON: But the possibility that those devices that were made up for the attack two weeks ago they could have made more explosives, that same set of explosives made to -- just over two weeks ago could have degenerated. What do we know? There's been a lot of speculation about TATP, being the explosives. What do we know about TATP. Does it degenerate over time?
BRIGHTON: I think it does. I'm not an expert on TATP. What I do know is that it's the more sophisticated end of homemade explosives. It would indicate a high-degree of skill, but it is time sensitive. And the fact that they're talking about detonators does indicate that this is a proper explosive that we're talking about, if there is explosive at all. It sounds like it's a serious explosive, because they are talking about detonators.
ROBERTSON: I'm sorry, Miles -- go ahead.
O'BRIEN: One other point to bring out here, and you know, this leads me to believe the scene at University Hospital might have something to do with the fact that we have injured as opposed to bombers who have killed themselves here, and clearly there will be an investigation that will occur out of this. This is a significance difference. And Mr. Brighton, I'd like you talk about that, the fact that you might have, while injured, at least people who can be talked to and you can get perhaps to the root of this?
BRIGHTON: That, obviously, having a living member of this network, if that's what we're talking about would be an extraordinary breakthrough intelligence-wise. It would provide an awful lot of material. As I said earlier, I think the immediate priority would be to rule out the fact of further attacks imminently, and then of course it would be a case of using this person, if possible, to identify other members of the cell, and you know, the ideal thing would to be find a higher level that may have been coordinating this, may have been providing materials or the expertise to put bombs together.
O'BRIEN: All right, thank you, gentleman. That's Shane Brighton, along with Nic Robertson. We'll leave you for a few moments. We'll be back with you very shortly of course -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, just a short time ago, Ian Blair, the London police commissioner, talked about the number of casualties and also about these three explosions. So let's listen to what he had to say moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN BLAIR, LONDON POLICE COMMISSIONER: We know that we have four explosions, or attempts at explosions, and it's still pretty unclear as to what's happened. There certainly is a scene at the Oval Underground Station. There's a scene at Warren Street Underground Station. There's a scene at Shepherd's Bush, which is on the underground, but is actually above ground. And there's a scene on the number-26 bus at Hackney, near Columbia Road, which I think is (INAUDIBLE).
At the moment, the casualty numbers appear to be very low in the explosions. The bombs appear to be smaller than on the last occasion, but we don't know the implications of all this yet, and we're going to have to examine the scene very carefully.
I've got couple of messages that I really need to give if I can. The first is, obviously, the transport system is going to close down for a short while we work out what's happening. It's very important that Londoners, or people in London, stay where they are. And the second announcements is we will make a further announcement around what the travel implications are. But what we don't want is lots people going to railway stations or whatever. The trains, as far as I know, are still running, but it's just stay where you are, go about your normal business. Again, the plan is there. We've seen it happen before. It's rehearsed. The emergency services are getting control over a very confused scene. Clearly this is a serious incident.
What I'm going to do now is I'm going off to COBR to meet with the home secretary and others to see where we go from here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Go ahead.
COSTELLO: That was the London police commissioner speaking earlier, and a number of interesting things he said. He's obviously trying to calm people down and tell them not to panic. But he's saying kind of stay where you are, but go about your normal business. It's a contradiction there.
O'BRIEN: It's that same sort of mixed message we got in the wake of 9/11, for example, that, you know, the new normalcy, whatever the case may be. Nevertheless, what we have heard from witnesses, all this morning, is a scene of just real panic beneath the ground here as these smaller devices went off, and certainly understandable under any circumstances. But two weeks to the day after what we witnessed in London is a terrifying notion.
We are, once again, getting witness accounts as they stream in. I believe we have another one to share with you right now.
OK, I don't have, though. If I could have the name of the person on the phone. OK, it's a witness. Could you give us your name, sir, or, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allison (ph), I have this guy on the line, like we've been waiting a half an hour. It's tying up my phone. I'm trying to get a crew down here...
O'BRIEN: OK, well, you're on the television now. If you could just share with us what you saw and heard, please. Hello?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it's hectic, but, like, tying up the lines like this...
O'BRIEN: Right. Well, you're on television now. Is there any way you could share with us what you saw and heard, please? All right. Well, please excuse us. Obviously it's a breaking story, and we're trying to get some information as we can. And clearly that one didn't work out so well.
But what we've been hearing from witnesses throughout this morning is this sense of, first of all, not a powerful explosion which fits with everything else we've been told by authorities and others, three smaller explosions, and then the one in the bus as well.
But nevertheless, that sense of, you know, being pushed into the carriages, no place to go, people running out of their shoes quite literally to get out.
The other thing we want to tell you about, is at University Hospital. There is a cordon there, an armed officers have responded to the hospital where it is presumed some of the injured from this have been taken. We don't have reports of huge numbers of casualties. But there are reports that the -- these were backpack bombs, devices, whatever you want to call them, detonators, lots of terms being bandied about. Explosive devices would suffice I guess.
And it is the distinct possibility that you have injured perpetrators inside that hospital, which would probably explain that police response there.
COSTELLO: Absolutely. We know they're searching. Maybe they're questioning people right now. We don't exactly know what's go on inside that hospital.
I think one gentleman, one witness that we heard from, his description of the events was most telling. He actually was on a train car. He said that he heard the explosion, and he said that woman literally left her shoes so she could run from the train car, and he began to pray. So a lot of panic on board those trains.
O'BRIEN: Understandable. You know, we've talked about the British stiff upper lip. But the fact is, in a situation like that, that reaction is certainly what you would expect and understand.
All right, let's try that witness one more time. We're told the witness would prefer not to be identified. That's fine. If he -- I believe it's a woman, if she could join us and just tell us what she saw. Are you there? Are you there on the line? Is there anybody there? I don't think so. OK, very sorry about that.
Trying to get some stuff as it comes in. As you understand these situations. We're talking about something that happened only about 2:10 ago. Just after the noon hour in London. Once again, there's the stations we've been showing you. On righthand side of your screen -- I don't have it pointed out -- but there was a bus explosion that occurred. Once again, those haunting parallels to two weeks ago today. There you see that Hackney Row location where the top deck of the double-decker bus was affected, but not nearly in the way that we saw at Tavistock Square two weeks ago. In this case, windows were blown out, and those on the scene are not reporting any significant casualties there.
Once again, though, the timing being very precise. As we found out in the two weeks since July 7th incident, there was amazing precision at the time of those attacks, and clearly, the copycat nature of this is evident. It's as plain as day. We've got three -- two trains, three subway trains, and one bus.
COSTELLO: All right. We have Max Foster on the line. And we do indeed have him on the line now. He's from CNNI. He has an update for us. Max, what can you tell us?
MAX FOSTER, CNNI CORRESPONDENT (on phone): Well, I'm actually at a road which is behind Shepherd's Bush. It's called behind Penard (ph) Road. And as I speak, the whole road is being evacuated. And I have spoken to a few people coming out, and there's a bit of confused picture. But two or three people have said the same thing to me, and that's that the police are telling them there's a device which, if it explodes, will affect people within 300 meters of the station here. It seems to indicate that not all devices are been dealt with yet. We can't get confirmation from the police quite yet. They're not telling us anything. But they are telling people coming out of their homes that there is still a device here.
COSTELLO: Max, what station are you at again?
FOSTER: Shepherd's Bush Station. And there was an indication from one of the people coming out of the house that the police weren't clear whether or not the device was one of at the station or a separate device. But they're hurriedly running around all of the houses here, telling everyone to leave.
COSTELLO: Yes, because...
FOSTER: But a couple of people have been told that there is a device which may explode.
COSTELLO: This is just curious, because we had heard earlier that Shepherd's Bush was to reopen. That was according to ITV. But apparently not. Has it been closed down all this time?
FOSTER: Yes. If you -- there are two stations in Shepherd's Bush. It's quite a large green. And the whole green is actually closed off and all the main roads going into that green, the major arteries in London. And there are, well, hundreds of police, I'd say. And special police seem to being brought in, non-uniformed police. And I've also been listening to one policeman that came in from Milton Teanes (ph), which isn't part of the Metropolitan Police. It's a separate police force. And so they're obviously looking for reinforcements here. But at the moment, the green is shut. And people around the green, certainly the station, are being evacuated.
COSTELLO: Do you know where this device is? Is it inside the train station, near it?
FOSTER: It's difficult to say, because the people being evacuated are within 300 meters of the station. But what the police were talking about, a 300 meter radius. So it could have been -- the center of the radius may not have been the station. It may have been away from the station. So it's difficult to tell right now. But the police have told people that they will be allowed back into their homes as soon as the device has been dealt with, but they're still not allowing people back into their homes.
COSTELLO: And from what I understand, this is largely a residential area?
FOSTER: Sure. It's a large green surrounded by shops. And then, it's a vast residential area to west and the north. There are an awful lot of homes. But the police -- it's very swift work in getting people out of their homes. There are so many police here, they're literally teeming. There's yellow everywhere, you can see it. And they've done a pretty effective job of clearing streets which may have been affected by the 300 meter radius cordon. But I can't give you much more information at the moment, apart from, they are trying to -- dealing still with a device, according to people that have spoken to the police.
COSTELLO: Now, previous to this, Shepherd's (INAUDIBLE) had been shut down, and as far as we knew, nothing had been found for about an hour and half or so, I would say. So is this a new discovery or have they been working on this the whole time?
FOSTER: Well, it's very difficult to say, because, from what I can see -- I haven't been speaking directly to the press office or the police -- I've just been speaking to people here on the ground. And people are talking about device being at station. It was unclear most of the time which station, because there are two Shepherd's Bush stations. But we seem to have identified the one -- it's the Hammersmith and City Line. And then the green was closed off.
And recently -- more recently, in the last half hour, the homes have been evacuated. So it seems to be an ongoing operation. It doesn't seem to be being tied up, from what I can see from here. And all of the cars are being turned away. All of the people are being turned away from their homes. Initially, people were being told to stay in their homes, but then they were evacuated. And it's a pretty unclear picture, and everyone's pretty confused here. But the police are just trying to make sure that people aren't anywhere near the one station, which we think is effective.
COSTELLO: So have you talked to anybody who's now had to evacuate their home?
FOSTER: Yes. They're pretty shaken. They left. Some of them weren't fully dressed. They were asked to leave. Most people were told just to leave their homes immediately. They weren't given a reason. But I did speak to three people, who had said that the reason they had been given was that there is a device and it could explode. And one person told me the reason for that is the explosion would affect everyone within a 300 meter radius. And depending on where the center of the radius is, it seems to be the station.
COSTELLO: Yes. Is it surprising? Because the other explosive devices were deemed small. In fact, the one on that double-decker bus just blew out the windows of the top half of the bus. The driver heard a bang, went up to investigate and that's what it was. But this may be bigger.
FOSTER: Yes. It's very difficult to tell at the moment, because we're just getting reports from constables on the ground and more senior level police are trying to deal with the strategy of this. And maybe the message hasn't got through. But it seems that a very clear message has gone out to everyone to leave their homes, because something may happen here. And if the police are being clear in saying there is a device, it seems pretty clear what advice they've been given.
COSTELLO: Max Foster from CNN International, reporting for us. I'm going to let you go so you can gather more information. Of course, we'll check back to you -- check back with you as soon as we can.
O'BRIEN: You know, one of the more ominous bits of reporting we heard this morning came from Nic Robertson. Of course, it's more ominous in retrospect. But he said last night he noticed an unusual uptick in security in London. No way to say what intelligence, if any, the authorities there had. But certainly, in the wake of the London bombings of two weeks ago, that city on a heightened state of alert. But that goes also for this side of the ocean, as well. The U.S. government has been in a heightened state of alert, as well, in the wake of all of this.
CNN's Barbara Starr joining us from now the Pentagon to give you an indication of what's going on there. Barbara, are they acting on specific intelligence or is it a prudent response to what we're seeing unfold here right now?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Miles, at this point, we believe it is a prudent response. Within the last few minutes, Pentagon security officials announcing that here at the Pentagon, they have now increased the security and police presence at the Pentagon, what they call the Pentagon reservation. That is, the Pentagon, the area surrounding the Pentagon. There are vast parking lots and outer buildings here. The Pentagon, of course, siting along two busy highways here in Northern Virginia. So the police presence here at the Pentagon now has been increased in last few minutes, they say, in response to the reports from London.
Two weeks ago, when there was the terrorist attacks in London, the Pentagon security presence that was ratcheted up, if you will, rapidly included extra police personnel, included countersniper teams, it included bomb-sniffing dogs. We expect to see all of that emerging here as that announcement has come in the last few minutes. Also, the metropolitan Washington, D.C., Metro system, the local subway system here in Washington, D.C., also quite aware of the situation in London, also expected to announce shortly that it will increase its security measures.
But in what we do believe is the first domestic U.S. response, the Pentagon announcing a few minutes ago that security here has been increased. Of course, the Pentagon always very sensitive to this after the 9/11 attacks here -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thank you very much.
Let's get back to London. Christiane Amanpour is on the streets of London. Christiane, what can you tell us?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you've heard, Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police chief commissioner, has been talking. And he's talked about a very serious incident. He's urged all Londoners to stay put and not to crowd right now to train and other transport hubs. The transport system, he said, was going to be closed for a short while while they tried to figure out whether there was any more danger and what exactly had taken place. We also have heard word that, according to a hospital locally, armed police have gone in there and we don't know why. Is it after -- is it after somebody who they suspect may have been responsible to this? We don't know.
We know that Tony Blair, the prime minister, has had to cancel afternoon appointments. Notably, he was actually going to be talking at a school in East London this afternoon, along with other officials, about the Olympic bid. But, of course, that again, once again, has been put on hold. Tony Blair's had to cancel that. He will be holding a special meeting of the COBR group later this afternoon. And also, he is expected to address the nation in -- within the next half an hour, we keep getting told, perhaps 3:00 and then 3:15 local time. So we'll wait to see what he says.
We're joined right now, as we have been throughout this morning, by Shane Brighton, security analyst and expert. At first blush, it looks very like copycat.
BRIGHTON: That's right. I mean, we seem to be seeing simultaneous, multiply cited explosions. And, you know, that does very much follow on from the attacks a fortnight ago.
AMANPOUR: How is it possible that in this city, with this heightened alert, with this kind of exposure, these people could try the exact same thing two weeks to the day? BRIGHTON: Well, I guess if we're talking about a cell or a network that's worked very hard to conceal itself in advance, they're still even now being subject to the investigation. We still don't know nearly as much about them as we would like to, I think. You know, it's not impossible that there could be still be active members out there and doing their worst.
AMANPOUR: We heard before -- July 7th, when the first round of bombings went on, that the security alert had been gradually down slightly, then this memo that basically said that the British intelligence services did not think that there would be a terrorist attack at this time. I mean, how is possible, with all these police out there, that this could actually happen again?
BRIGHTON: Well, I mean, we...
AMANPOUR: Although they're obviously, we have to say, are not treating it as seriously as the last one.
BRIGHTON: Yes. I mean it's clearly a significant incident, but not as serious as two weeks ago. We remain an open city and we remain an open society. In some ways that makes us a strong society. In other ways, we are vulnerable. And it's the terrorists job to find our vulnerabilities.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you a security and intelligence question. Tony Blair was due to speak, to meet with his intelligence and other officials today about using being able to use surveillance tapes, wiretaps, et cetera, as evidence against suspected terrors. This, of course, intelligence people have been against traditionally because they say it might compromise their sources. Is this something that is needed in this country now?
BRIGHTON: Well, there are a lot of points for and against. The main points, the reason why the intelligence services hesitate to say, yes, to the uses of wiretaps for evidence in court, is, firstly, they're frightened it's going to expose the way they do business and the sources that they have. And the second thing is that a lot of them are convinced that terrorists are simply too sophisticated to get caught out by phone taps.
I think what we're beginning to see, though, is the idea that the real challenge in the future is going to be proving relationships between disparate groups of people, often communicating between intermediaries in different countries, and for that you need a lot of data about communications between people. So if this does happens, this new step towards using intercept evidence towards keeping Internet records, et cetera, won't pay off for quite some time. It's a long term strategy.
AMANPOUR: And in the meantime, they're now starting a brand new investigation into today's attempts or attack while they still haven't finish the last ones. I mean, can they keep up?
BRIGHTON: That's correct. I mean, I think what they're doing to be doing is looking if they're able to catch any of these individuals today. And it sounds like they may have one injured man. And any evidence that comes through from the devices that haven't gone off. That this will be compared with what happened two weeks ago. They are going to be looking for any substantial link between what we know about the people that carried out the attacks of a fortnight ago and these individuals today.
AMANPOUR: Shane, thank you very much indeed.
Again, we're waiting to hear from the prime minister. He's going to, obviously, be addressing the nation about this. Again, the metropolitan police commissioner has told everybody that there will be another statement and that, for the moment, don't go to the tube stations. Londoners, stay put while they're investigating what's going on -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Christiane Amanpour in the streets of London.
Thank you very much.
Let's bring viewers up-to-date. Our viewers all around the world. A little past 10:00 in the morning Eastern Time. And it's now been about two-and-a-half hours since this first unfolded in the streets of London. Two weeks to the day after that terror bombing attack that killed 56, including the four bombers, a hauntingly parallel attack. Three subway stations, subway trains, affected, and one bus, top deck of a double-decker bus. In all of these cases, much smaller explosions, perhaps even just detonators, and many fewer casualties to report. We have really only one report of an injury. That's probably going to go up, of course.
But we're watching this very closely and trying to determine clearly if this is a copycat sort of situation. If these were four bombs that were duds. If it was made of the same material that was used two weeks ago, TATP. Very unstable material. And that sour smell might be associated with a bad batch. So we could be dealing with an attempt here to send yet another message, a terror message, to London and the world that might have been somewhat failed. Nevertheless, causing a great deal of concern and panic in the streets of London right now.
COSTELLO: Just to bring you up to date, too, on Shepherd's Bush. That's the Shepherd's Bush Station. Max Foster from CNN International says there is an unexploded device there that police have found some way. They've evacuated the area around that station. In other words, people have been told to leave their homes.
There was some confusion there. At first people were told to stay inside and not to panic but then they were told to leave. Some of them ran out half clothed, got in their cars and left. So that situation is ongoing right now.
O'BRIEN: And as in each spot that we have checked in with, we hear reports of cordons, police cordons, that are actually widening. Perhaps what we're seeing there is the concern about unexploded devices which may remain on the scene. Once again, we're just trying to filter all that out. Matthew Chance, when last we spoke with him, was being brushed back. We're going to hear from him shortly.
COSTELLO: We should tell people about the hospital too. At University Hospital, armed police were going into the hospital. We don't know why that's happening either. Maybe an injured bomber is at that hospital. That's where the casualties were taken after these bombs exploded.
O'BRIEN: Rather chilling accounts that have been filtering in for us all morning from witnesses who were riding the tubes right around the noon hour in London. Let's listen to just a little bit of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I haven't seen anything but I was experiencing it firsthand. I was in the carriage. I was reading my book going northbound on the train, on the Victoria Line, when we suddenly smelled we started to smell like burning wires, or , rather but it was a mixture of the (INAUDIBLE). But and then suddenly everybody started to panic and running from the carriage to the next carriage. And there was a general panic for everyone was panicking. And everyone was making their way to the next carriage. And there was (INAUDIBLE) everywhere. So I have with me my hands some shoes of people left them behind. One lady, she left both her shoes. I think she went home bare feet or something. And there was no way you can get out of the carriage because the door is so narrow. One thing came to my mind, is just wait for it to happen. I knew it was a bomb. I made my I mean I said my prayers and just waited for it to happen (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Wow. Just that last line there, you just sort of say your prayers and wait for it to happen. That is a chilling thought and statement to imagine being there.
COSTELLO: Some strange things about these explosive devices. Apparently, some might say, they were poorly made because maybe the detonators just exploded. That's what ITN is reporting and that would indicated that it was a poorly-made bomb.
O'BRIEN: Or a bomb that was well-made but sat on the shelf too long, which is another possibility as well. Or improperly mixed. This is stuff that's sort of, you know, bathtub mixture kind of stuff. TATP, incidentally, was used by the shoe bomber, Richard Reed. It is favored in terror circles because it can be made sort of with off-the- shelf type of chemical. But nevertheless, is not a stable type of explosive. So some expertise is required and, you know, we are certainly would be jumping to conclusions to say that this particular event that we've seen unfold over the past couple of hours has a direct link to the cell from two weeks ago. It could very well be some sort of copycat thing with a completely separate group of people.
COSTELLO: Well, let's try to find out more from Matthew Chance. He's at the Warren Street Station. And, Matthew, what about this idea that the detonators exploded only and not the actual bomb? What more can you tell us?
CHANCE: Well, we don't have any official confirmation of that, first of all. But having said that, it does seem to fit in with the accounts that are emerging from the chaos here across central London. We're getting reports from the Metropolitan Police, the London Police, that casualties have been extremely low. They're being described, these explosions, as small explosions. And now, of course, we've heard from an eyewitness saying that he believes that somebody wearing a backpack or his backpack or believed the backpack itself exploded but caused not much damage.
We've also seen police at the scene, not just emergency workers and fire brigades and things like that, but also police wearing full chemical protection outfits and gas masks going into the train station, the subway station here at Warren Street, in an attempt to protect themselves of the many possible chemical agents. It's been (INAUDIBLE) they say they haven't found certainly at one of the train stations, I this it's the Oval Train Station, they haven't found any evidence of a chemical agent being used in these attack. So maybe it does fit in, although it's very difficult to say with any degree of certainty right now. But maybe it does fit in with this idea that it was just detonators that exploded and therefore giving off this kind of chemical smell that would have alarmed so many people.
COSTELLO: Matthew, at the Warren Street Station, do you know exactly where that explosive device went off?
CHANCE: No. Police aren't giving us an exact, you know, detailed description of where the device went off. We've been moved back 400 yards now from the train station itself and so we can't really even get that very close to where the station is. A big, tight security cordon has been flung around it. As I say, police, emergency workers, the bomb squad is there, as are these police that I've been talking about wearing full chemical protection outfit. But they're not giving us any indication whether the train, where this device exploded, was stationary on the platform at Warren Street, whether it already left the station, the train, or whether it was about to enter the station. But I'm sure those kind of details will come to us over the coming hours.
COSTELLO: Yes. I want to read to our viewers something that Robert Heirs (ph) from the Chasman (ph) House in London is saying. He says, from what I've been able to gather, either the bombs themselves are very, very small compared to two weeks ago or they've got a manufacturing problem and only the detonators are going off and not the primary charge. Which is what we've been talking about. Is there any indication that you can see as to how much damage this explosion caused?
CHANCE: Well none of the people in the surrounding area of Warren Street, which is the only area I can really talk about at this stage because that's where I am, have talked about hearing anything untoward. They just said they became aware that there was a problem when many people came out of the train station having been evacuated from the area.
But certainly the people here, you know, the area over ground at least, is in perfect tact. I mean there doesn't seem to be any evidence of any damage. No windows shattered. Nothing like that. It's not that kind of explosion, clearly. If it was an explosion, and police have confirmed that it was, then it clearly took place deep underground on the Northern Line or possibly on the Victoria Line where it intersects at Warren Street Train Station. And we've not been able to get close enough to actually describe the kind of damage that would have been caused by that explosion, however small.
COSTELLO: Also something that Michael Clark (ph) says. He's from the International Policy Institute from Kings College in London. He says, where my money is at the moment, this that this is an imitative amateur whose bombs have not worked. You would think, because no one died in these incidents, that someone must have seen something.
CHANCE: Absolutely. And Michael Clark could well be right. Obviously the distinctive thing about the bombings two weeks ago to the day was that they were so successful in that they exploded exactly, presumably when they were meant to explode, synchronized with each other. They caused absolute devastation. The police, forensic teams there, explosion experts that we've spoken to over the past several weeks saying that the people the person who made those devices clearly knew what he or she was doing and it was a professional sort of job.
Now if it emerges that that's not the case on this occasion, if it emerges that it is, indeed, just the detonators that exploded and failed to ignite the actual explosive material, then that would be a significant difference, I think, we can say, from the professional way in which the bombs two weeks ago were constructed and all exploded, obviously.
COSTELLO: Matthew, I have to cut you off. I'm very sorry. President Bush is now speaking. Let's listen.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a beautiful building. What makes it even more beautiful is that the Organization of America States promotes democracy and freedom. There's nothing more beautiful than freedom. And I appreciate your commitment to democracy and freedom. And I appreciate the chance to come to talk about a treaty. CAFTA. That will not only provide more prosperity . . .
COSTELLO: We're going to jump out of this. Obviously the president is speaking of something else at the Organization of American States. If he says anything about the bombings in London, of course we'll get back to him. We're also expecting Tony Blair, the prime minister, to begin speaking any moment. We've heard 10:00 Eastern Time. We've heard 10:15. When he begins speaking, of course, we'll take that live for you as well. O'BRIEN: In the meantime, we've got reporters all over the streets of London right now trying to get to the bottom of all this. Phil Hirschkorn, our producer, is at the Oval Station. That's where we have, at least by initial reports, that's where the first incident occurred, 12:38 p.m. local time.
Phil, we've been checking in with Matthew Chance and have heard other reports that the cordons around these stations are being enlarged. Are you running in to that?
HIRSCHKORN: That's right, Miles.
If you were to take, on a normal day, London's Northern Tube Line, about five or six miles south, you would end up here at the Oval Station where, as the situation is there at Warren Street, we are being set back about 150, 200 yards. There's police tape.
There are two streets, really, that seem to lead two or three streets that lead to it Oval's main entrance. I'm now in a different location from where I was earlier. This is called Pennington Park Road. The neighborhood is known at Pennington or the Oval for the Oval Cricket Stadium.
Police are busy but they're quiet. We see, again, a number of police vehicles. We see police dogs. And there are fire personnel are on the scene. And from where I'm positioned now, actually, there appear to be more of them underground and out of sight than on this street.
It is cordoned off. The police aren't really telling us anything. But science I last spoke to you, I have had a chance to talk to some of the people who are here, not in the station, but shortly afterwards were on the scene or on the street. I just want to share with you a couple of those anecdotes. We spoke to a banker name Amed Basid (ph) who has one of those video cell phones, like all those pictures we saw two weeks ago of people with video with camera phones. And he took some video which basically recounted his experience.
He was on a bus. Rather, was on foot, on his way to the station. Was told to get off. That it was closed. And then he got on a bus, was told there was a bomb threat and he and about half the passenger on the bus got off. Some stayed on and kept going.
There is still a lot of traffic on the street. You can certainly hear it behind me. Motorcycles, double decker buses and so forth still going through. So the area here has not been shut down other than the two streets that are cordoned off and we are kepting (ph) away from so the police can go about their business.
The other person I met that was interesting is a trained emergency worker name Dave Bull (ph). He heard the alert on the news, rushed over within minutes, an EMS worker, as we would say in the states. But he was pleased to find out his services were not needed. He stood by. But apparently no one here needed emergency treatment. As far as we've been told, so far no reports of casualties here that we've been told of.
You asked me earlier about people being nervous, and certainly the people we talked to who are here were nervous, are nervous about continuing to ride the tube, but they say they'll do it.
O'BRIEN: Phil Hirschkorn at the Oval Station or near the Oval Station. As he points out, the scene there where earlier there were reports that people in advance of that detonation or explosion smelled something sour, which might lead the explosive experts would tell you it's possible that would have been a poorly mixed bomb, potentially. And we've been saying to you that all of these blasts, four of them, were very small, perhaps just the detonators. Anyway, that's the thread we're working on right now trying to get more information for you.
COSTELLO: And we have some more information. Christiane Amanpour live at another part of London right now. She has some more eyewitness testimony for us -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Well, as you can imagine, a lot of us glean a lot of what we can from all the 24-hour network, the radios. The British radio and television system has got long tentacles and there's been quite a lot of news coming in from there. And one of the eyewitnesses from the Oval Station, where Phil was just reporting from, had said on the television here that he had been in a carriage. He had heard a pop, as he said, he quote, like a champagne pop. And all of a sudden he saw people rushing in to his own carriage and people panicking. And what they had said was that, in fact, that somebody had come in, dropped a bag and rushed off. And they tried to catch that person but he had been able to escape.
So a little bit more eyewitness reports coming in from various different sources as we try to sift through what's going on.
COSTELLO: To your right, Christiane, just so viewers know, this is a picture of inside of 10 Downing Street. Tony Blair is expected to speak very soon. We heard 10:15 Eastern Time. Now it's 10:17. But we'll get to him as soon as possible.
Any more word, Christiane, about what's happening at University Hospital?
AMANPOUR: No. Just that they are investigating, "an incident." There are all sorts of different reports. None of which we can actually attribute right at this moment. But that there is some kind of armed situation and that the police are dealing with it. And there's, as you can imagine, any number of speculation going on about what that could be, including some have said that it may be one of the attackers who may have gone in there.
But this really is preliminary and we're looking to confirm the fact that there has been an incident at the University College hospital, which is just near here. And some are saying that it may have been a result of what happened at the Warren Street Tube Station, which, again, is just near where we are right now.
COSTELLO: You know, the other question that I had, and I know that London officials decided to open up the subway as soon as possible so life could get back to normal. Might they rethink that after this?
AMANPOUR: Well, you know what, that's hard to know. As a civilian, I would say that, you know, twice in two weeks, it's going to shatter people's confidence and nerves. But certainly we're going to wait and see what the transport authorities do and what the police do.
I'll bring in Shane Brighton, our security analyst, who might be able to did you hear the question from Carol?
BRIGHTON: I didn't hear the question.
AMANPOUR: It's about, you know, after July 7th, they pretty much soon opened the subway for people again.
BRIGHTON: That's correct.
AMANPOUR: Might they rethink that this time?
BRIGHTON: Well, I think, at the moment, we're just waiting to see exactly how serious a set of incidents these are. I mean there does seems to be a lot of continuity between what happened two weeks and ago and what happened today. On the other hand, you know, this was not an attack on rush hour levels of people in the underground. These are further out in the underground system, less crowded stations. It doesn't look like such a serious incident. And, you know, until we know that, it's hard to say what the impact will be.
AMANPOUR: Not such a serious incident, according to the police, because of the size of the explosions, which were minor compared to last time, and the casualties, which were also negligible compared to last time. But four explosions, three tubes, one bus. Is this, do you think, a professional al Qaeda-type like the last lot? Or do you think these are copycats just trying their luck?
BRIGHTON: Well, it's very difficult to say with the evidence in front of us. I mean, clearly, you've got a coordinated attack by several people. That shows a conspiracy of sorts. It shows a reasonable degree of sophistication. Clearly what we're seeing is either very small devices or not real devices or, you know, worst-case scenario, these are proper devices that have only partially exploded or only partially ignited. So, you know, until the evidence is clear, it's very difficult to say right now.
AMANPOUR: So what do you think the police would be looking for right now, I mean given that these were not apparently not suicide bombers?
BRIGHTON: Their immediate priority will be to find out if there's anything else that may be happening immediately and whether there's any real threat to public safety at this stage. Beyond that, they're going to be looking for continuities between the modus operandi and the equipment that was used two weeks ago to attack London and what's happened today. Certainly if they have managed to catch somebody, and we've heard some report yet to be corroborated, that they have, they're going to be looking to those people and trying to find out exactly who they are and look at their patent of association.
AMANPOUR: And the devices?
BRIGHTON: The devices may tell us a lot, may tell us nothing, depending on, as I've said, whether they are a professional job or not. So they'll certainly be looking at them. And what seems to be happening I mean the news that we're getting in talks to a certain degree about them establishing large cordons. Now that may, may indicate there is an unexploded device. Certainly if they can hang on to that and they can investigate it, that may tell them a lot.
AMANPOUR: Shane, thank you very much indeed.
So again, just like it was two weeks ago, it took some time to get the facts out and we're obviously going to have to wait this time as well. Perhaps it will be easier this time, as you heard Shane say, if they can find a device, if they have caught one of the attackers.
Meantime, we're waiting for Tony Blair.
COSTELLO: We still are waiting for Tony Blair.
Another question perhaps you could pose to Shane, Christiane. At Warren Street, an eyewitnesses described a smell inside one of the train cars like an electrical fire. At the Oval Street station, one witness described the smell as a sour smell. What does that tell him about these explosives?
BRIGHTON: Well, it's very difficult to gain anything from that very limited report. Clearly, something has gone off in these devices. There is a sufficient explosion, that things are burning. There's reports of smoke. There's reports, as you said, of this acrid smell. So it does sound like something has partially ignited or gone off in some way. What one could tell about the explosion, the kind of explosive and what may have happened to it or not happened to it, just on that, is very difficult to say.
AMANPOUR: And how about the sort of bigger picture, if you like? I mean, what are we in for now? Repeated attacks? I mean, I am trying to wrack my brains but from 9/11 until now, every time there's been an attack in a country, whether it be the United States, Spain, Morocco, here, well, not here but Saudi Arabia and Madrid, there wasn't another one afterwards.
BRIGHTON: I think that's true. I mean, certainly, with the attacks that you mentioned. I think one thing that may be worrying, and I mean this is just speculation, but may be worrying is that one thing that people within the security services have said to me is that the really surprising thing is it's taken so long to happen. Now, worst-case scenario again is that that long period since 9/11 where we haven't been attacked may indicate a degree of very serious planning. And it might be that a network has been built up and a capability has been built up.
But we, as yet, we have no real evidence of that. The evidence about two weeks ago is only beginning to emerge. The evidence about today, we're back to, you know, back to the drawing board, really, in terms of this incident.
AMANPOUR: Troubling, I think, to a lot people. A lot of people in this country, certainly, will be the fact that an official document said that there's no cause for worry about terrorists bombings here in London just before July 7th. I mean, this is a country that prides itself on its counterterrorism abilities, its experience with the IRA and the others. How did this manage to slip through the cracks? Not the attack per say, but the fact that they didn't think there would be one?
BRIGHTON: Yes. Well, I think that the truth is, and, you know, the real response to that is that, you know, intelligence work isn't a crystal ball and it's not a silver bull that can stop terrorists in their tracks. And with the evidence that was in front of them, I think the report they offered was probably warranted given that there seemed to be most substantive and immediate threat. What's happened is, of course, that a network, a group of people, have built a capability and are prepared to use it and they managed to do that without being detected.
AMANPOUR: And right now, I mean, you know, to talk a little bit about the history, Britain has traditionally been a haven, a asylum, for people who are considered militants in their own country. And the deal has been over the years that they've come here and they have not attacked Britain or British soil, but they've always been militating against their home governments. And now Britain is talking about possible deportations. Where do you think that's going to go? And is that the right way to go?
BRIGHTON: Well, I mean, clearly, all these issues that we've been debating, you know, very fiercely in the last few months in the run-ups to these attacks are going to be now revisited. And it seems to me that, you know, the way in which people will be controlled in term of their activities is going to change. What we do know is that there's now a set of serious proposals for new legislation, one of which concerns activities preparatory to terrorism. And in a way, this is beefing up existing legislation. But what it means is that any kind of communication that can be regarded as training or preparation is now in and of itself an offense and doesn't have to be linked to any credible incident. The training and the communication in and of itself is convictable.
AMANPOUR: And the incitement and the praising of such acts?
BRIGHTON: That's correct. I mean there's certainly a lot questions being asked about what people should be allowed to say about the kind of political situation. And that's very much an ongoing debate, particularly in view of, you know, some of the controversy over whether our involvement in Iraq can be directly tied to the fact that we're not being subject of attacks.
AMANPOUR: And intelligence chiefs have said that, haven't they? That the Iraq war has heightened the danger to Great Britain?
BRIGHTON: Yes. In a sense, it refers back interestingly to your earlier question, in that the now highly discredited report from the joint terrorism analysis center, MI-5, said that the threat level was low but there was still cause for concern because our engagement in Iraq would make us a higher priority target. So on one level, that report has been discredited. On another level, it's being credited with quite a lot and has become politically quite explosive.
AMANPOUR: Well, indeed. In fact, the Blair government has been on the defensive a little bit over the last couple of days as this report has come out and they're insisting obviously they're insisting from their point of view that Iraq has got nothing to do with these terrorists attacks.
BRIGHTON: Yes. That's quite right. I mean in addition to the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center report, which is a report from within a joint body of the British intelligence services, there is this report stating that we've become more liable to being attacked because of our engagement in Iraq.
The other thing that happened over the weekend was that a long- standing academic research project produced its final set of reports. And part of the conclusion that they drew was that our engagement in Iraq also made us more likely to be attacked. Now, this has come at extremely an embarrassing time for the government, obviously. But in a way, the credentials of that report academically are impeccable because it's coming out of research that's been going on for a couple of years. So it's not like this is somebody acting provocatively at short notice. This is something that's had some research behind it.
AMANPOUR: Shane, thanks.
And, of course, whether or not the government wants to accept the notion that Iraq has made this country more dangerous. The people here believe so. According to these same reports, a poll of the British people say two-thirds of the people believe that the attacks here are because of Britain's involvement in Iraq.
COSTELLO: Christiane Amanpour reporting live from London.
Just a bit of information to tell you. On the right of your screen, you see 10 Downing Street inside. Tony Blair is expected to speak at any moment. A short time ago, a man was led away from outside of 10 Downing Street in handcuffs. We have absolutely idea what that was about but a lot of stuff happening in London this morning needless and that is an understatement.
O'BRIEN: Yes. And that could be completely unrelated. There's the shot of him this person being led away in handcuffs. No way to connect any dots for you on that one. This is tape, not live. And we just put that aside for now and we'll if it is of great significance, of course, we'll bring it back to you and tell you more about it.
Bill Daly joins us, our security analysts, CEO of Control Risk Group and here in Atlanta. In Atlanta. We're in New York.
Let's talk a little bit about just early indications here. And we keep coming back to that term, copycat. Are we jumping to conclusions or does that seem to make sense here when you look at the parallels between what happened two weeks ago and today?
DALY: Well, certainly, Miles, I mean the timing is something that certainly suggests whoever's behind it wants to show that the government over in London, you know, cannot totally control the situation. I mean, that's the point of this. Whether it's a two-week anniversary or whether it was two weeks plus two days. The point here is that they want to show and demonstrate that the government can't control everything. And it puts people on the edge of their seats.
The other thing that's important is to consider that these people could also be, whether or not it really means anything at the end of day, terrorists are terrorists and people commit heinous acts like this are, you know, are terrorists. But the fact is they could be what we call ad hoc or sympathetic terrorists. People who are in the community, kind of at a low level, who decide to say, you know what, we're going to show them and we're going to go off on our own. Usually it's a very small number of people. Certainly, I think the fact that it appears to be a lower level ordinance used in this case versus two weeks ago. Could be indicative of people who were either put something together quickly, didn't have access to the high-level ordinance which might suggest that it's not part of a much grander scheme.
But on the other hand, we still have to be open to the fact that the timing, two weeks afterward, a fact that they're still going through the investigation and trying to arrest people. Been in Pakistan as recently as yesterday making arrests, yet still at all, they haven't been able to quell what affects the everyday people. And now there's events.
COSTELLO: If it is a copycat crime, that would be the hardest thing to stop, don't you think? Because last night, Nic Robertson was reporting there was an increased security risk in London. He saw lots of police officers on the street. Don't know why. But if this was just -- actually, why don't you just comment on that. What does that say to you in itself?
DALY: What the increased police officers on the street? Well, I mean, we have heard a couple of reports that, you know, police were even looking more closely, were considering things even maybe an hour and a half before these explosions, that there may be a reason to have heightened security, even shutdown part of the underground system in London. We don't know how accurate those facts are, and you know, here in New York, we see a lot of police activity. Part of major cities here in the U.S. is to have a strong deterrent. So you have a lot of saber rattling, you have a lot of physical presence, and so it's hard to say whether or not that presence that was being demonstrated last night was part of this deterrent effect.
COSTELLO: And yet with all of that physical presence, this happened, because I was talking to Miles a short time ago. They always tell you, the average citizen, to be vigilant, to watch out for suspicious people, to watch out for suspicious packages. Surely the people on the tube in London were doing that, and yet this still happened, in four different places.
DALY: Well, Carol, it's true. You need to motivate people to be on the lookout, because there could be incidents where people leave packages, rather than just carry them on themselves. You know, the tradecraft of the terrorist is a broad spectrum of some.
O'BRIEN: But there's somebody with a backpack. That does not leave you a lot of options, and just points out the vulnerabilities here, no matter the vigilance of people on something like the tube in London, somebody with a backpack is something you're going to see.
DALY: Exactly, Miles, and, you know, every major city, backpacks, briefcases, shopping bags, you name it, it could be a potential, you know, a container for a device. And that's why the key to this is really getting down to the insipid level. You know, where does this start? Infiltration we keep talking about of the cells, intelligence, and as we drive them further underground, and to the ground, you could have small individual ad hoc units, people using lower-level ordnance because it's more difficult to get the larger devices, the larger equipment in and the training, and so therefore, it is possible that it would continue at a lower level, no matter what type of intelligence you gather, because there could be one, two or three people who decide in the back room to conduct something, put it in a backpack or in something non-conspicuous and leave it someplace.
COSTELLO: Bill Daly, stick around.
O'BRIEN: And the interesting thing is the net psychological effect is the same, really in a sense, whether it's a big bomb or not, and that's obviously what they play on here.
Let's check in at Shepherd's Bush Stations, which one of the three underground stations affected by these blasts.
Mallika Kapur is there. Mallika, what are you seeing and hearing there?
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a fair amount of confusion here. We are fairly close to the tube station, but there is a police cordon. A lot of the people who live in the area have rushed out on the streets. Some of the businesses have shut down. A lot of the people who live in the area say that police have come knocking on their doors. and now some residents have been evacuated from buildings around the area as well. A fair amount of confusion.
We do know that there have been three incidents in London. Police are still calling them "incidents" only, and three of the tube stations across London have been evacuated. Those three tube stations being the Shepherd's Bush Tube Station, which is where I am now, the Oval Tube Station and the Warren Street Tube Station as well.
O'BRIEN: And right now, what are authorities there telling you on the ground?
KAPUR: They're telling us to be patient, waiting for information. They do not want to create any panic, because As of know, they don't exactly know what the incidents have involved. They're repeatedly saying that there have been three incidents, but no one is telling us exactly what the three incidents were.
We are hearing unconfirmed reports, and these are unconfirmed reports, that there were three -- three detonators, not bombs, but three detonators went off across the tube stations. We don't know which tube stations these have reportedly gone off at. Some eyewitness accounts. Some people said they heard a loud bang. Someone said it was like a balloon going out of, but a much louder noise, that kind of noise, a big bang that went off. There have been reports of -- somebody says that she smelled smoke. She didn't see smoke in front of the tube station.
But at the moment, reports just trickling in, and there are unconfirmed reports that it was three detonators, not bombs, but detonators that went off.
O'BRIEN: OK, Mallika Kapur, thank you very much, joining us from Shepherd's Bush. And just to underscore the point, that we do know this, it was Warren Street Oval and Shepherd's Bush Stations, and in addition, a double-decker bus on Hackney Road in the eastern part of London, four devices in all. Whether they're detonators or blasting caps, or misfire bombs, we don't know yet. Smaller explosions, is what we're talking about here, and as a result, greatly reduced numbers of casualties, compared to what happened two weeks ago when 56 people died, include the four suicide bombers in London.
But once again, that haunting parallel of three tube stops, three tube stations, three underground trains, and one double-decker bus. Clearly there is a message here -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Let's go to the Warren Street Station now. Matthew Chance is there.
Matthew, Sky TV is reporting a witness says he saw a man with a backpack. The backpack exploded, there was smoke, and afterwards the man looked at the backpack as if something had gone wrong. I know had you gotten earlier word that a backpack exploded. What more can you tell us?
CHANCE: Well, not a great deal more than that unfortunately at this time, Carol. Still the police are being pretty tight lipped about exactly the circumstances around the incident here at Warren Street. They are saying that it was an explosion. Their saying that their emergency teams have responded to that explosion. We're seeing fire brigades, ambulances, a big police presence as well here in central London. They've cordoned off areas around the Warren Street Underground Station, pushed the crowds back, and the people walking through the streets back some 400 yards away from the area of the entrance of the train station.
Officers in full protective gear, police officers, that is, full chemical protection gear, have been moving in to the area to conduct their examinations of the scene. They've issued a statement, saying they haven't found any chemical agents as the location in Warren Street, where the explosion took place -- Carol.
COSTELLO: You know, I'm just wondering, of course, they're looking to see if there are any more explosive devices. Is the entire subway system shutdown now, or just those three stations?
CHANCE: Well, just the three lines, it seems, this at least according to London Transport. The Victorian Line, the Metropolitan City Line and the Northern Line where these various explosions took place at some point along those lines.
We're told by London transport that the rest of the subway system in Britain, which is extremely extensive, one of the world's biggest underground railway systems, is still operational. People can still go about their business, with some degree, at least, and to get home from their workplace, to some degree.
But having said that, these explosions have taken place in some of the key areas across central London. Yet again, (INAUDIBLE) confusion to the streets of central London, but also a degree of gridlock as well. So a very confused, a very short of chaotic situation in lots of places, where traffic has been lined up, unable to make its way out of the city yet.
Where I'm standing right now, though, the area has been completely cleared. There's not a car in sight in this actual location, all around the Warren Street Train Station on Euston Road, in between Euston Road and Tottenham Court Road, two of the main thoroughfares in central London. They've been completely sealed off at this point.
COSTELLO: Matthew Chance, reporting live from the Warren Street Station.
Bill, I want to bring you in, because I'm just curious at to why they haven't shut the whole subway system down after four explosions? And they're still looking for more bombs.
DALY: It certainly is, especially on the heels of the fact that Scotland Yard had said we would probably be shutting it down for a period of time to do some screening and some checking of locations. That's certainly what they did two weeks ago. I would probably say at this point that they've been able to mobilize enough people where they feel confident that they're able to maintain it and keep it open. So I would just say that they've run through these drills, Carol, too. They've been training for this. We saw two weeks ago. They had a real-life exercise two weeks ago. So I'm confident...
COSTELLO: If I'm a rider, I would not be getting on that train.
O'BRIEN: I suspect there are probably quite a few people in London doing the same thing now.
Quick word on the cameras. Half a million closed-circuit television cameras, much discussed in the wake of what happened two weeks ago. Their limitations to what those cameras can do for you. Having said that, it did help authorities make some arrests. So it's good after the fact, isn't it? It's not so good in advance?
DALY: No, you know, Miles, security cameras are good sometimes for someone who wants to conduct something and says it could be a deterrent, they'll catch me. But those people who are determined to do it, it's really going to be investigative tool after the fact, as you said. It certainly has been a very valuable tool. It was able to identify these people quickly, whereas if it wasn't, it may have taken quite a bit longer.
But that's why when we look at security around public places, it's really a mix of a number of things. It's the visual security, like we have seen in major cities. We have National Guard, heavily armed police. We have cameras. We're trying to mobilize the individual citizens to be on the lookout. But at the end of the day, as I mentioned earlier, really, to get to these incidents, to get to these people planning this, early in the insipid stages, to disrupt those, to neutralize those plans, whether it's to make arrests on sometimes unrelated charges, that take people out of the loop and puts off that planning for a period of time, can sometime uncover a larger conspiracy, so that's really where the effort needs to lie. I mean, security is always good, but sometimes it is after the fact, and it only may deter something from happening that day. They may look for a weaker spot.
O'BRIEN: Bill Daly, thank you very much. On the right part of your screen there, you see the interior of 10 Downing Street, where we expect to hear from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair momentarily. We, of course, will bring that to live as soon as it happens.
In the meantime, CNN's Christiane Amanpour on the streets of London, gathering what information we can, as sort of this story unfolding, really right before our very eyes. Now been about three hours exactly since this first began. Christiane, what can you tell us?
AMANPOUR: Well, what we know is that it is not as serious an event was it was two weeks ago, July 7th, when 56 people were killed and hundreds of people were wounded. What we know this time is that there's been virtually no casualties. We understand perhaps one injury. We know that there's been an incident at the UCL Hospital, the University College London Hospital, which is not far from here, in which the police have been called and in which, we understand, fire brigades have now been called. We're still trying to get confirmation on exactly what that is and whether it's because they believe that one of the attackers may have fled there or have gone there for treatment. At this point, important to say, we just don't know. The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Ian Blair, has said that -- at one point he said the transport system would be shut down, but we still are hearing conflicting reports on whether it's just those few lines that we've been talking about, or whether they to shut it down and evacuate everybody in order to determine that there was nothing else on the tubes and nothing else on the lines.
As we're waiting for more news -- and we are waiting, because we know that there's going to be another briefing by Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner. And also we're expecting a briefing from Tony Blair, the prime minister, who was, in any event, due to meet his intelligence people, his military people today, to discuss how to react and how to deal with, for instance, wiretap information, try to deal with pieces of information that up until now have not been allowed in court in order to convict potential terrorists. That, obviously, has been canceled. They're having an emergency COBR meeting, which is one of their emergency meetings when these kinds ever things are under way.
O'BRIEN: All right...
O'BRIEN: Christiane, we're going to interrupt, because the British prime minister is about to speak.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: ... I mean, I know you want me to say a few words, obviously, on what has happened over the last few hours. And I hope you'll forgive me if I say to you, it's best for operational details to go to the police and the emergency services and others that can give you the information.
I've been -- taken the COBR meeting at 2:30.
I've just spoken to the Metropolitan Police commissioner again now. He, I think, has issued a statement which I think will be published shortly, and his hope is that things now can get back to normal again as quickly as possible.
We can't minimize incidents such as this, because they, obviously, have been serious in the four different places, as we know. I think all I'd like to say is this.
We know why these things are done. They're done to scare people and to frighten them, to make them anxious and worried.
And fortunately in this instance, there appear to have been no casualties.
The police have done their very best, and the security services, too, in the situation.
And I think we've just got to react calmly and continue with our business as much as possible, as normal. And following the meeting with the prime minister now in this press conference, I will go back to the schedule of meetings I had. Since the Metropolitan Police commissioner has indicated that both the police and the security services are now fairly clear what has happened, of what the next steps are.
And as I say, we hope we can get the rest of the transport system back up and running again as soon as possible.
So that's really all I can say on that at the present time.
If I can also just -- my apologies, John, for having interrupted so much of our discussion today. But fortunately we've had an opportunity to catch up on things.
I'd like, first of all, if I might, to thank the prime minister and also the Australian people for their kind condolences on what happened two weeks ago today and their sympathy and their solidarity, which, as ever, has been immense and also hugely appreciated by us here.
And I know that there was at least one Australian victim of the terrorist attacks a couple of weeks ago.
And the scourge of terrorism is one that we all face together, but Australia has been a particularly extraordinary and strong and indomitable ally of our over these past few years.
And both in Afghanistan and in Iraq, we work closely together. But also in our bilateral relations across the whole range of security issues our two countries are immensely close.
And this is a relationship that isn't just built on the large numbers of Australians that come here and Brits that go to Australia. It's also based on, I think, common values, common determinations, strength to stand up for what we believe in. And we can have no more secure or sound ally than Australia.
And we're very grateful for all you help and support in it.
And our bilateral relationship is actually in extremely good shape. We're working close together, as elsewhere in our city at the moment there's a competition going on. But we'll leave that to one side for the moment.
But it's really very much a relationship that this country values, and, therefore, we're always delighted to see you here.
Welcome. I'm sorry our discussions together have been interrupted in the way that they have, but I know you'll understand.
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: Well, thank you very much. Tony, can I say immediately what I said to the prime minister on the telephone two days after the attack on the 7th of July, that the entire Australian nation felt for the people of Great Britain, and particularly for Londoners. There is no city in the world after our own that Australians have more affection for, more identification with and a greater sense of history about than the city of London.
I can say to you, Prime Minister, publicly what I said privately, and that is that Australia sympathizes with, supports and we will remain steadfast with Britain in pursuit of the common values and common causes that we have.
Terrorism is the enemy of all free people. Terrorism is not just about individual circumstances and individual events. Terrorism is about perverted use of an ideology for evil intent and for evil objectives.
And those who think that terrorism is incident-specific misunderstand the mind and the workings of the minds of terrorists.
And we felt for the people of Britain. We were not, as Australians, spared death in that attack.
I say, in relation to the latest incident, that the determination of people to continue with their daily lives is something that we have always seen as one of the great characteristics of the people of this remarkable country.
And I want to say to you, Prime Minister, that, wherever events take us, you can be sure that the common values that we have will remain and Australia will remain a friend, a steadfast partner and a nation that shares the values that I know are very important to the people of Britain.
Might I also say, in relation to these recent events, that the response of the services in London and in Britain have been quite remarkable? And we Australians have been greatly impressed with the determination of the British people to get on with life.
The terrorists want otherwise, and the best answer to terrorism is always to carry on unperturbed by their activities, and by that demonstrate defiance of terrorism.
I had the opportunity of a briefing from the Australian police contingent that came here recently, and they reported to me in some detail of the comprehensive response of the British emergency services.
And, Prime Minister, you can be very proud of the way in which your police, your ambulance services, your hospital services, and all of those responded.
And in that respect, I've asked the prime minister, and he's agreed, that at an appropriate time in the not too distant future, the people with specialist knowledge of London's response to the attack on the 7th of July will come to Australia and have a look at the services that we have. And if there are any suggestions that can be made, if there are any things that we can learn from the London experience -- and I'm sure there will be -- be it remembered that over of period of 20 or 30 years, there were some 300 IRA-initiated incidents in the city of London. And sadly, the people of this city have had to deal with this sort of thing a great deal in the past.
On other matters, might I say, I agree with the prime minister that the bilateral relationship is in excellent condition? I congratulated him on London's victory for the Olympic Games in 2012. I think I sent him a note congratulating him. But I did have a cautionary element which said that would be enough English victories for the time being.
But nonetheless, can I simply say that the experience of having the Olympic Games is great for any city. And we having had them in Sydney fairly recently, will, of course, if there are any experiences from that, they are readily available.
The other matters we canvassed related to the trade issues that the world faces. We talked about Iraq and Afghanistan; we remain committed in both cases. Afghanistan is an important battleground against terrorism. So is Iraq. And nobody should imagine that the terrorists would be other than absolutely delighted if there were a faltering of will in Iraq.
And we share common objectives and common goals. But most importantly of all, 8.5 million people defied the most terrible intimidation to vote in Iraq on the 30th of January. And that is a cause that's worth supporting and a cause worth fighting for.
Prime Minister, I'm, as always, delighted to be in London. Thank you for your hospitality. And you've been extremely gracious and generous with your time, given the other demands that you have.
And I can only say again that Britain's friends in Australia are many and genuine, and we remain with you in the challenges that our free societies face at this particular time.
QUESTION: Could I ask the prime minister after the COBR meeting today whether any new decisions flowed from that in any sense?
And also, following today's incidents, what you would say directly to all those people who may be thinking, "Actually I'm not going to go into London, I'm not going to visit London or I'm not going to travel through London"?
BLAIR: First of all, no, there are no decisions of a policy nature that arise out of what we've heard.
And I stress to you again, I mean, this is just in the last few hours; I don't really know anything more than you know about it at the present time except that I think the police and security services have got the situation well under control and we hope to get it back to normal as quickly as possible.
I think what I would say is this. And I think the spirit of London and of Britain was represented again this morning when people came together in Trafalgar Square, and I saw the headline in The Evening Standard, it was about London united, and that's how people are and that's how I think they'll stay.
Now, of course, we will give people whatever information we can and we'll protect people as best we can. But I think that everyone is canny enough to know what these people are trying to do -- I mean, whoever is responsible for this latest incident -- and that is to intimidate people and to scare them, and to frighten them, to stop them going about their normal business.
Now, obviously, people will be concerned and anxious; of course they will. And that's why it's important we give as much information as we can.
But on the other hand, it's important also that we respond by keeping to our normal lives and doing what we want to do, because to do otherwise is, in a sense, to give them the very thing they're looking for.
QUESTION: Do you have any sense of who was responsible yet?
BLAIR: I think it really is too early to speculate. But I think that will become apparent, I hope, reasonably quickly.
The best thing in these circumstances -- which is why I'm hesitant about giving you information out of the COBR meeting, some of which you may know in any event, about who the police may have apprehended or whatever -- is just to let them do that. They're the best people to take people through this.
And I think, although I haven't actually seen it on television myself, that the Metropolitan Police commissioner, I understand, made a statement a short time ago, essentially saying that they checked the stations and so on, and we wanted to get the thing back to normal as quickly as possible.
And don't misunderstand me. I'm not minimizing the seriousness of this, because you've got to accept these four incidents and everyone can draw the obvious conclusions from that. But on the other hand, I think it is important that we just -- you know, we react calmly and continue with our lives. And that's what I intend to do. And I'm sure people will do the same.
And it is, obviously, a situation, of course, that causes people concern and worry, of course. I think that's the right response. And people showed it again in London this morning, and I think they'll show it again. Indeed, from what I've heard of people already saying who've come out of the tube stations affected, that's exactly the attitude they've got.
QUESTION: Mr. Howard, will the Australian government consider legal measures against people who foment or provoke terrorist acts, along the lines of those being (INAUDIBLE)? HOWARD: We are carrying out an examination at the moment of the need to change and strengthen our laws against terrorist activity, or potential terrorist activity, and we will include in that examination the sort of changes that have been contemplated here in Britain.
The prime minister and I had some discussion today about that. We're getting detailed information about the changes that are being contemplated. And they will be fed into the consideration being undertaken in Australia.
Can I just add that one of the difficulties that all societies face here is that, essentially, the laws dealing with the behavior of terrorists were framed at a time when terrorists didn't have available to them the technology, access to how to make a bomb from the Internet, mobile phones, text messages? To, I hope, not oversimplify it; we have 19th-century legal responses to potentially 21st-century technological terrorist capacity.
Now, you don't want to rush these things. But you do want to recognize that there is a case for looking at whether the laws are adequate -- and we're going to do that. And included in that examination will be what Mr. Blair and the British government has in mind.
QUESTION: Prime Minister, you've appealed for people to stay calm, but do you feel any sense of responsibility at all for the fact that ordinary people here in London now seem to be in the front line in the war against terror?
BLAIR: Well, I think what's important is that people do stay calm and react in the way that they have reacted so far. And the very purpose of the people who are doing this type of thing, their purpose is precisely in order to make people worried and frightened and taking responsibility off the shoulders of the people who engage in these types of act.
And we've just got to remain as we've been.
I think the one thing that the prime minister was just saying a moment to two ago, the one thing that's come across very clearly over the past couple of weeks has been the impact, if you like, the British attitude has had on the rest of the world, where people have seen our country react to terrorist attacks that are meant to make people frightened and worried and scared and react with great dignity and great strength and great determination that it doesn't change us. It's not going to change what we do.
And, therefore, when something like this happens again today -- and as I say, I can't give you the full details of it at the moment, and the police will at a later time -- our reaction's got to be the same. To react in any other way I think is to engage in the game they want us to engage in.
QUESTION: Do you feel any sense you have put people in this position? Do you feel that in a sense your policies may have put people in this position? BLAIR: Well, I think I've said to you before that I feel that people who are responsible for doing these things are the people who do them.
QUESTION: To both prime ministers: What was your immediate reaction on hearing that some incidents had occurred? Was it, "Here we go again"?
And do incidents like this, coming just 14 days after the horrific attacks, suggest that the war against terror is being lost on the streets?
And yesterday, an Australian bomb victim of July 7 linked the bombings to Iraq. Does that suggest that the propaganda war against terror is also being lost?
HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it? My first reaction was to get some more information.
And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.
Can I just say very directly on the issue of the policies of my government and, indeed, the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use a vernacular?
And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats. And no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq? Can I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq?
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor? Are people, by implication, suggesting we shouldn't have done that?
When a group claimed responsibility on the Web site for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy, not just in Iraq, but Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?
When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when Al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor. Now, I don't know the mind of the terrorist. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts.
And the objective facts are, as I've cited, the objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq.
And, indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life; this is about the perverted use of the principles of a great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation.
And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse, through a perverted ideology, of people -- and their murder.
BLAIR: I agree 100 percent with that. OK.
BLAIR: No, I don't think so at all, actually. I don't think so at all.
I think that, in the end, though, you've got to help us answer this question -- I think it was at the press conference I had on Tuesday with President Karzai in Afghanistan.
But the roots of this are deep. This is the mistake of people thinking this suddenly began in the past couple of years. The roots of this were deep. The terrorist attacks go back over 10 years.
And the way of defeating it is to defeat it, of course, by security measures, but also by going after the ideas of these people, the ideology of these people, their arguments as well as their methods; taking them on and defeating them.
And the best way of doing that is to show how the values of freedom and tolerance and respect for people of other religions and races is the best way to lead our lives.
But, you know, we shouldn't -- in the end what they want us to do is to turn around and say, "Oh, it's our fault." The people who are responsible for terrorist attacks are the terrorists.
And this combination of this evil, bankrupt ideology based on a pervasion of Islam with terrorism, this is something that has built up over a period of time. It'll have to be dismantled over a period of time. But I've got no doubt at all that in the end the values that we represent are the values that will triumph.
And you why I say that? I say that because every time people in somewhere like Afghanistan or Iraq or Palestine, these causes that they try to prey upon, every time the ordinary people in those countries are given the chance to vote, they vote. And they actually prefer the democratic way of life, too. And that's why in the end we'll win.
Right. Thank you very much.
HOWARD: Thank you.
O'BRIEN. The prime ministers of Great Britain and Australia, Tony Blair and John Howard, addressing reporters at number 10 Downing Street, not on the subject they had hoped to address. Obviously, talking about the incident which occurred a little more than 3 1/2 hours ago now.
Tony Blair urging Britons to react calmly, saying we know why these things are done; they're done to scare people and frighten them and to make them anxious and worry. He said, fortunately, in this instance there appear to have been no casualties. Although, we have had reports from other sources that there might have been one injury at the Warren Street Station.
Let's just back it up just briefly here and remind you what happened about three and a half hours ago. We have a map which will lay out the city of London for you once again.
Two weeks to the day after the bombings that killed 56, including the four suicide bombers, simultaneous incidents at three stations, Oval, Shepherd's Bush and Warren Street Underground, very small explosions, perhaps even just the detonators for failed bombs. And then at Hackney Road, a bus explosion on the top deck of a double- decker bus. That causing minimal damage, just knocking out the glass on that bus and not causing any injuries according to reports there.
In the wake of this, at the University College Hospital where some of the people who were treated in the wake of all of this, police responded to that scene, armed police responded to that scene. Not quite sure why, but there is some supposition here that the four people involved in this, perhaps attempted suicide bombers, were injured and may have been taken to that spot. We're working on that bit of detail for you.
But once, again, while a hauntingly parallel incident to two weeks ago, not by any stretch of the magnitude of what we witnessed then.
Bill Daly, who looks at security and terrorism issues for us here at CNN, just listening to the prime minister saying, you know, be calm, which is kind of a hard thing to do, what you realize is, there's a statement being made here: "Two weeks after, we can do this, even though the security is heightened. We have the ability to pull something like this off." And that is a fearful thought.
DALY: Absolutely, Miles. And in fact, it is one of the goals of terrorists is to effect the psyche of a population, perhaps to force them to change the course of where the government is leaning in a certain direction, perhaps in this case over in Iraq.
But it's important to keep in mind that, whether or not these people were aligned or the cell two weeks ago or whether these are what we call ad hoc or want to be, you know, terrorists who do this stuff on their own, is the fact that I don't believe that they were successful. They didn't affect the economy; there weren't that many injuries. And in that regard, as long as we can keep them from making changes in the government and way of life, they have not been successful.
O'BRIEN: All right. Good place to end it. Bill Daly, our terrorism analyst.
Let's join CNN International in progress, Christiane Amanpour.
AMANPOUR: ... because repeated influential studies have now said, and have been saying, that the Iraq war has put various nations, those who supported the Iraq war, at greater risk, most notably here in Britain. A report out this week said that. And it has been robustly denied, of course, by Prime Minister Blair.
Whether he or the British government refuses to be associated with that, the fact is also that the British people, though, believe that they are more at risk because of supporting the U.S. war in Iraq. Two-thirds of the British people in the latest poll have said that they believe that to be the case.
And so this is an ongoing issue now. And this was not such an issue in the first round of bombings, July 7, not so much was made of the Iraq war, but now it is becoming a political point, as these governments are now having to try to not only get together with the investigation and try to figure out how to stop this kind of terrorism but also be put on the spot about the political decisions that they may have made that many people believe have led to a greater risk.
Now, the prime ministers both say, and correctly so, that al Qaeda terrorism predates the Iraq war. But what they're not saying is that many of the analysts and even CIA and other officials have said that, yes, that is the case, it predates the Iraq war but that the Iraq war has made them just more vulnerable and more likely and has made them more greater targets, greater risk of being targets.
And to be frank, the news out of Iraq is very, very bad over the last week or so. Islamic extremists have killed something like 8,000 people in the last 10 months. That's 800 Iraqi civilians per month over the last 10 months, according to "The New York Times."
And the CIA and the Pentagon are saying that even the Iraqi security forces and police are not up to the job of doing the job themselves without the U.S. or Britain there. So things not going as well as both the U.S. and the U.K. had hoped.
We are going now to Nic Robertson, who is at the University College London, where we had been talking about an incident over the last few hours.
Nic, what is the latest there hospital spokesmen are now telling you?
ROBERTSON: Well, what we're able to see here, and Christiane, the hospital is still surrounded and cordoned off by police. This hospital, University College Hospital of London, is just a few hundred yards away from Warren Street Tube Station, where one of the small explosions happened earlier today.
Early -- a few hours ago, it was reported that police, armed police, entered this particular hospital. Eyewitnesses say that they saw the police going into the hospital with sniffer dogs.
Indeed, in the last few minutes here, a man tried to break through the police cordon. He is now being arrested, handcuffed and detained by police. But it doesn't appear to be part of their main investigation here.
What one eyewitness said they saw outside of this hospital was somebody being stopped, a man being stopped with a red backpack on his back. He was stopped by the police. He was searched, and the man was taken into a police car, taken away. He wasn't handcuffed at the time.
What we understand from the -- from the people who have come out of the hospital is that they have been told, both in the hospital and next to the hospital, they were told to remain in their buildings until just a few minutes ago. People hadn't been able to come out for lunch. They've been told to stay inside their offices and not come out. It's not clear; they weren't told why they shouldn't leave the building.
But within the last 15 minutes or so, they have been allowed to come out of the building. Quite a number have come out from the University College Hospital.
But what precipitated this is the police entering, armed police, entering the hospital. The police have not yet said why -- why that was, but the hospital itself, just a few hundred yards from one of the small attacks earlier today. That hospital itself still remains, all the streets around it are sealed off, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic, we're just getting word into CNN that the police, hospital spokesman are telling CNN that the incident is over. Is that the impression you are getting? And I know that you said you're not being told why the police went in there, but the speculation was, potentially, there might have been an attacker who fled there. Is anybody telling you anything like that?
ROBERTSON: Certainly -- certainly, the indications are from the fact that people left the -- were able to come out of the hospital area, 15 minutes ago. That would tend to indicate that the security threat, whatever it was that it led them to be kept inside that building, that would seem to indicate that that security threat was over.
There was a warning released by the police that the police were looking for a man who they described as being 6'2" tall, either Asian or black. They said he was wearing a blue shirt and that there were wires coming from his shirt. That is a description of a man that police had issued that they wanted to talk to in connection with the incidents this morning.
But whether or not he was involved in the -- whether or not he was in the hospital here, that's not clear to us at the moment, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: All right, Nic, and we'll check back with you.
We're going to go to Mallika Kapur, who is at the Shepherd's Bush Station, another one where there was an explosion, or there was an incident there and people have been evacuated.
Mallika, what is the situation there?
KAPUR: At the moment, I'm fairly close to the tube station. Of course, the area has been cordoned off. There are police lines all across the area. Businesses around the area have been closed, many of them putting their shutters down just in the last half an hour or so.
As I speak to you, there is an ambulance making its way here, coming right towards the police lien. They're opening up the police cordon to let the ambulance through. It's going right past me at the moment.
Residents in the area say that they have been evacuated, as well. Police have gone knocking on doors of residents who live around the area, telling them to come out. They've been repeatedly telling the residents, do not panic. But just as a security measure, just to take a precaution, we do want to clear the area of the residents. And the residents have been taken to a shopping mall fairly close by. So that's where they are being held there at the moment -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And what we were hearing originally was that there may be an unexploded device at the Shepherd's Bush area. What have the police told you or anybody been able to confirm what may still be at the Shepherd's Bush area?
KAPUR: No confirmation yet. We have several unconfirmed reports that this might be the case. But we have been trying to check with police authorities here on the ground. And as of -- until now, they haven't been able to confirm anything.
They have told us to wait in a specific area, saying that there might be a statement shortly. And we're still waiting. As of now, no further information on that, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: All right. We're going to go to Matthew Chance, who's at Warren Street. Any more confirmation about what precisely happened, what the police have found out in the preliminary stages so far, Matthew?
CHANCE: Christiane, all the police have told us here at Warren Street Train Station is that they're attending the scene of an explosion. They're not talking officially about the size of that explosion, except saying just in general terms from the Metropolitan Police commissioner here, Blair, saying it was a small explosion, not just here but at other stations and on the bus across central London. We have seen a big response, though, obviously, here in central London, on of the main thoroughfares here in the city. Euston Road and Tottenham Court Road, two big streets here in London, have been sealed off by the authorities, by the police, by the emergency workers. Ambulances are at the scene, as is the bomb squad, attempting to clear the area around Warren Street and inside Warren Street Station, as well, for any other explosive material that may be around -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And what is the situation in terms of the cordoning off and people, is it still -- people are obviously still unable to get to that station.
CHANCE: That's right. In fact, we've been pushed back, along with everybody else, the many hundreds of people who have been evacuated from the immediate area. Some 400 yards, 400 meters or so back from the entrance of Warren Street Train Station.
Still hundreds of people who have been moved out of their shops, out of their houses, out of their offices, told by the police to get out of the area while they conduct these -- these clearing operations.
We understand also that the Victoria Line and the Northern Line, on which Warren Street intersects, has been closed, as well, has been frozen, that coming to us from London Transport. But apparently other train stations, other bus services across London are still running.
And so the people who are starting the process of going back home from their day jobs are being redirected to other routes from here.
AMANPOUR: We keep getting updates from the police and crossing the wires. The London police chief is saying that Thursday's, today's explosions, on the transport system were, quote, "pretty close to simultaneous" but of course, not all the devices, they say, went off properly. Hence, the fortunately low casualties.
And again, we should confirm that the police chief says that there was one casualty, although not a fatality. So apparently, there was one injury. And was that at your location there at Warren Street, Matthew?
CHANCE: Well, that's what the British Transport Police said to one of the news agencies earlier. But here on the ground we've been expecting a statement from British Transport Police or from the London Metropolitan Police, the London police proper. They've been saying they will have something here to tell us what happened.
There's a degree of confusion after the -- not just the circumstances of the explosion, but also the number of casualties. The official line over here at this stage is that there are no casualties. Although, as you mention, there is one report of one casualty. Whether that's the individual that attempted to detonate his or her explosive, or whether it's a passenger of some other kind on the train at Warren Street, we just don't know at this stage.
AMANPOUR: Matthew, thank you. And of course, for our viewers, what we're waiting for now is to find out whether they've caught anybody, any one of these attackers and whether they've been able to find any of the devices, whether any of them were intact or partially intact that could give the police the kind of clues they need to unravel this investigation.
Joined again by Shane Brighton, security analyst. They're asking for calm. Prime Minister Blair was almost -- almost laid back in his studied demeanor of calm, saying, "Let's get back to business as usual. We don't want to minimize this." Can it be business as usual?
BRIGHTON: Well, clearly, you know, these incidents are major. People are very worried. I mean, certainly, walking through London to come up to the studio just now, there's no panic on the streets. But, you know, there is an effect.
I cycle to work. And I notice the sort of quadrupling of the number of people riding their bikes through London this time of year. A lot of people are not using the tube I think ordinarily would. There is a sense of worry.
I also suspect, I mean, if you look at the way in which Prime Minister Blair was talking about these incidents, that there is a need to kind of normalize the threat in a sense and say that, you know, this may well be something that we're going to have to live with for some time. And you know, we need to think about the way in which -- sorry.
AMANPOUR: OK, just as we were talking, Shane, we're going to go over to Hackney, where the ITV reporters are. And they -- our sister network, ITV, has something from Hackney, which is where I believe the bus bomb was. Simon Harris now.
Simon, do you hear me?
SIMON HARRIS, ITV REPORTER: I hope you can hear me. I'm in Hackney, which is in East London, close to the financial heart of the city, about half a mile away, in fact from where most of the huge banks are based.
The bus is a standard London red double-decker, the sort of thing that everyone is familiar with from the streets of London. And it's parked around about 50 to 75 yards behind me in a street off to the right.
Now from what we saw earlier when we arrived and were able to see the bus from a distance, there appears to be no damage to it whatsoever. And according to the company which operates that bus, the driver heard a thud, stopped, went upstairs where some passengers were obviously distressed, but didn't see much damage other than a few shattered windows. And we haven't been able to see the windows ourselves. But that appears to be the only damage here.
In the last hour and a half, the police cordon surrounding the bus has been extended. More and more people have been evacuated from offices and homes. We've seen firemen in chemical-nuclear-biological chemical suits, which is now standard procedure at this kind of event in Britain, but we are told by Scotland Yard that there are no chemical agents on any of the sites. And in fact, the police are now starting to move people here yet again.
The cordon is again being extended, but we still don't know exactly what is going at that bus or what the plan is in terms of trying to sort out whether there is any kind of device on board. And I'm going to have to move now because the police are asking us to go, too -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: We'll let you go, Simon. Thank you very much for that update.
We're going to continue talking to Shane Brighton. You heard, obviously, what he said about their not being that much damage. I mean, this is almost identical to what happened two weeks ago, and yet nowhere near as serious.
BRIGHTON: Yes. Yes.
AMANPOUR: The police are saying now, Ian Blair, that this was, obviously, an attempt at simultaneous explosions. They went off pretty much simultaneously, but some of the devices didn't work properly. How is it possible? I mean, is it, do you think, is it the same kind of people? Or what kind of people would not be able to get four devices to explode?
BRIGHTON: Well, I mean, we don't know. With the evidence in front of us, this could be a rather incompetent copycat incident, where these were never really serious devices but were really created to cause alarm.
Alternatively, it might have been that, you know, there was a much more serious and skilled bomb maker who, as a single individual, made the same mistake in each device. And that may have stopped these things triggering.
The other piece of speculation at the moment is that it may be a batch of explosives that wasn't mixed properly or may be slightly too old. Some of these explosives are time sensitive, homemade explosives. And if, for example, had been part of the batch of explosives that was mixed and used in the incidents two weeks ago, it may have lost some of its potency now. And these could be partial detonations.
But all of this is speculation until we get more evidence.
AMANPOUR: What you were saying was that, with the prime minister, with the other officials, their very, very studied, calm demeanor, urging people to get back to normal, talking about how Londoners, Britain, British people, you know, really have shown their mettle in the last two weeks. And you were saying that perhaps they're trying to signal that this is something this country is going to have to get used to again, as they did with the IRA years.
BRIGHTON: I think that's quite possible, too. I mean, there seems to be two sides of it. One is that, on the every day level, they're saying that, you know, London will continue and that we shouldn't allow this to disrupt us any more than necessary.
On the other hand, the way that they're dealing with it politically, it seems to me, has very much to do with separating the domestic threat in the U.K. from the international situation in such a way that, you know, this is not going to change anything significant. We have to continue with our foreign policy the way it is.
AMANPOUR: While we wait to see more evidence, to see what the police came up with, let us go to the chief of police, Ian Blair, Sir Ian Blair. We've got the latest statements from him. Let's roll that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR IAN BLAIR, METROPOLITAN POLICE CHIEF: ... evidence at the present time, nothing to indicate any kind of attack which involves chemicals or anything else. So we are -- it's broadly conventional as far as we can understand at the moment.
And really, now this is the time -- we asked the public to stay where they are. Now is the time to get London moving in its ordinary sense again, avoiding the scenes. I can say that Victoria Line is still closed, Hammersmith and City Line is still closed, the Northern Line is still closed. But for the remainder, they're all running. The trains are running. The buses are running. It's now time to just move into London coping with this incident.
Particular appeal, if I can, to transport workers who are coming on shift. We need them to come on shift now to make sure that the Underground and other -- other transport services run. The situation is absolutely at the moment under control, in as good a position as we can possibly be, given the fact that we've had these four attempts at causing serious explosions in London.
We only have one confirmed casualty. And that's not a fatality.
AMANPOUR: Again, you've heard a concrete piece of information that we've been reporting, Sir Ian Blair saying one confirmed casualty but not a fatality.
Remember, two weeks ago, 56 were killed; 700 were wounded. Some of those very critically wounded and who are still in hospital getting treatment.
As Prime Minister Blair said today, he used the word "fortunately," the casualties have been minimal. The explosions are nowhere near as serious as they were two weeks ago. The police say they were not treating this as the kind of serious incident that they had here in London two weeks ago.
But they follow a very, very similar pattern in terms of the M.O.: four explosions, three on the Underground, one on a bus. This happened two weeks ago and it's happened again today. Although, again, today's much less severe.
Let's go now to Phil Hirschkorn, CNN producer, at the Oval Station, one of those that was attacked today. Phil, what is the latest from there?
HIRSCHKORN: Christiane, things are fairly quiet here. It's sort of an odd situation on Kennington Park Road, which you know here in London is a fairly busy traffic street. And it's open to traffic. All kinds of vehicles are going up and down the street.
Yet if you just go one block over, streets are cordoned off, streets leading to the Oval Station itself. We're still being kept back 150 yards. There's police tape, but things are quiet. They've been in there now about four hours since the incident occurred, police, fire personnel, and for the most part, whatever they're doing is out of sight. It's underground. It's in the station.
The police are being tight lipped here about what they're doing, what they've found, what actually happened here. It's been hard to come across any eyewitnesses. But we have had a chance to talk to some people who were here in the minutes right after the incident.
No one has told us that they heard smoke (sic) or smelled smoke, rather. No one has seen any injuries. In fact, we met a gentleman who is a trained emergency aid worker. He rushed to the scene and was told by police to stand by and then his services weren't needed.
So all the usual precautions are being taken. We understand that everything that the Metropolitan Police have trained for is obviously happening. The witnesses, the people who are on the scene minutes later, told us police were on the scene immediately, taping off the streets which are still taped off and taking control of the situation.
One other thing I can add is, by all accounts, the tube station at half past 12 is not very crowded. There was a calm evacuation. Not too many people were told -- were on the scene at that hour -- Christiane.
The other thing I can tell you is, it's one of those funny situations where, at this hour, there are probably more press and on- lookers in the nearby buildings than there are people who were affected by this incident. This is a residential neighborhood. It's not one of the most crowded subway stops. It's called the Oval, because there's a cricket field nearby known as the Oval. There was no match going on.
Some people wonder, if this is a very seriously contemplated terrorist attack, why they would have done it on a day like today when the neighborhood is so sparsely populated.
One other thing that I can say, it's interesting, what's happening. The one other thing, Christiane, that I can tell you, just to wrap things up here, is that it's 4:30 in the afternoon in London, and we're starting to see streams and streams of people walking, walking home. I just talked to a man a few moments ago who owns his own business. He's walking along the street where the subway lines would normally be open. He's planning to walk eight miles. I asked that how that made him feel, and he said, well, he's afraid it's a sign of things to come -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Phil, that's quite chilling. And we've all been wondering how people will react. Obviously, after the first one, people got back on the tubes and kept going on and were quite defiant. But after a second one, as you say, some people certainly will afraid.
We're going to go now to an eyewitness, a taped report from an eyewitness from the Oval where you are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then I was going to put the ticket through the machine. Then I heard noise, shout and scream from people downstairs. So -- I backed off. At the same time I was curious to see what happened. And suddenly, I saw a guy running from the stairs and then people chasing him, really. And I was carrying two bags, so I couldn't really do anything. By the time I put the bag on the ground, he passed by me already. He run. And then he just crossed the street and walked straight. Straight, yes. By the park, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he running?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was running, yes. And there is another guy who was chasing him and then, by chance, we saw police car. Then we waved, both of us, we waved to the police that he was going straight that way. I don't know after that if they did catch him or whatever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this man spoke to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't spoke to me, but he said something, like, because he saw me. And then I was, like, looking at him like -- I was standing there. At the same time, he said, "What's wrong with this people?" He was running the same time he said it. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he caught?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he caught, do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No idea really, because he went through the park. And then the police, they were after him. So I don't know if they did caught him or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And can you describe this man. What did he look like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looked Asian. And skinny. Age about like 18, 19, something like that. And short hair. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: English accent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the way he said it, it sounds British.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did it look like other people from the train itself coming up the escalator, were they chasing after him as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: yes. It was like more than ten people. Then the guy who sell the flowers in the station, he was chasing him, as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know why they were chasing him. Did anybody say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, he did something wrong. And people, they knew that is him who did something. He left a bag or whatever he did inside. So they were -- actually, they catch him, then they -- they did catch him, that's what I heard. Then I don't know who left him. So he run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And was he carrying anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I haven't seen him carrying anything. No.
AMANPOUR: Interesting to hear that eyewitness. Earlier, we had heard from another eyewitness, also on British television, from the Oval, saying that when he was in the train, on the subway train, the car next door to him, all the people started to come into his car. He heard a pop, he said, like a champagne cork. And what he was told by the people in the carriage next to him was that somebody had gone in, left a bag and then rushed out. People had tried to catch him and he had gotten away. Maybe this is the same incident.
In any event, of course, we keep waiting for more details. We'll bring them to you. Right now, back to Fionnuala in studio.
O'BRIEN: That's CNN's Christiane Amanpour in London. This is Miles O'Brien in New York. And just to recap, at the bottom of the hour for you, it's now been four hours since this incident, really stunningly parallel and yet of much lesser magnitude to two weeks ago in London. Four separate explosions, four simultaneous explosions, this time midday hour, after 12:30 local time, 7:30 a.m. Eastern time here in the United States.
The stations, Oval, Shepherd's Bush and Warren Street, all affected as small devices, perhaps even the detonators for much larger devices, were triggered, causing -- as far as we know now -- only one injury. But that is a number which we have a little bit of skepticism in right now.
In addition to that, on the surface, just like two weeks ago, a double-decker bus affected, this on the eastern part of London, on Hackney Street. The driver reporting what he heard was a thud. He investigated the top deck of the bus and went up, found obviously some very startled passengers, as well as what amounted to some broken glass and no injuries.
So perhaps a copycat attack, perhaps groups related to the people associated with that first attack two weeks ago. All questions which remain. But as you just heard from that witness who spoke just a little while ago, at least in one case, an apparent suspect, leaving a backpack and trying to flee, being thwarted as he tried to do that. Also, his indication that he had a British accent, maybe, once again, homegrown suspects in this case.
Concurrent with all this, as the dust was really settling, at University College Hospital, which was a place near the Warren Street Station where some people who needed treatment would have been taken, there were reports that armed authorities arrived there. We still haven't been able to get any specifics on what the incident was there. But, in talking with Bill Daly, our terrorism analyst here, there's some reason to believe that if these were suicide bombers who failed, they might be people with injuries in the hospital and thus would require a security presence there.
Bill, let's run through it very quickly here. The timing, first of all. Specifically, two weeks after this event. Clearly that is meant, you know -- some would say why so quickly after this big event? Maybe that's the answer. That's exactly why they did it.
DALY: I think you answered the question right there, Miles, is that, it does. It's something that says to these terrorists -- now whether they are these wannabe terrorists who go in ad hoc or sympathetic terrorists, maybe not associated with the cell that was activated two weeks ago. But nonetheless, the message is, you're not safe. Is that, as much as the government has done everything, look, we still can carry this out. And that's really probably their message.
It appears as though there was a lower level of ordinance used. There seems to be some -- perhaps, you know, device that either didn't go off or didn't go off that well. So, as well as being orchestrated or being a very successful terrorist incident, yes, it did occur, but nonetheless, it was not -- it didn't inflict the casualties. It didn't raise that bar, it didn't go up to where it even occurred last week -- two weeks ago.
O'BRIEN: A couple thoughts here. Is it possible that this was all that was intended? In others, they didn't, for whatever reason -- did not have the explosive power from two weeks ago. But the intended psychological effect is sort of separate from the amount of explosive power?
DALY: Well, certainly, Miles. And I know here in New York, you know, right after 9/11, anyone hearing of a low-flying plane would look up and it would send a chill up people's spines. And certainly, that's, as we've said, that's the message, is try to instill this fear, to give people the sense that the government can't do anything for them. And perhaps use that as a leverage point, as an influencer towards whatever the government policy is, perhaps in the Middle East, perhaps for Iraq. Whatever the ultimate design is here is to have the people rile up and say we want this to stop. We don't care how small they are, we just don't want them to occur. And that's why people really need to buckle down and say, no matter what, we'll stand up in the face of it we'll continue with our decisions to take a firm policy stand.
O'BRIEN: And firm is really what Tony Blair tried to give off today, when once again, two weeks later, he's addressing his -- the British people, as well the world, about this. And when he says to Britons to react calmly in that -- really, some might interpret as a kind of a forced, measured way. Do you think that that's going to work? Or at this point, are people rattled?
DALY: Well, I think the every day rider, as much as any one of us who would have to get on a train, is going to be even at a more heightened level of concern, or maybe looking for an alternate way to commute, at least for the near term. I'm not sure. I really don't know what, you know, if it's going to break that resolve. I don't believe it is. And I believe with Tony Blair taking the lead, he certainly stands up and exudes confidence. And I think, given the temperament of the British people, is that they've gone through things like this before. They've gone through the IRA bombings, where they've blown up department stores and, you know, inhibited their way of life for a long time. So, to them, staying true to the cause has proven out in the past, so I see no reason why it wouldn't take place in the future.
O'BRIEN; The sad fact is, they have a lot of history with this. Let's listen to a little bit of what Tony Blair had to say just a while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAIR: Well, I think what's important is that people do stay calm and react in the way that they have reacted so far. And the very purpose of the people who are doing this type of thing, their purpose is precisely in order to make people worried and frightened and taking responsibility off the shoulders of the people who engage in these types of act. And we've just got to remain as we've been.
I think this -- the one thing that the prime minister was just saying a moment to two ago, the one thing that's come across very clearly over the past couple of weeks has been the impact, if you like, the British attitude has had on the rest of the world, where people have seen our country react to terrorist attacks, that are meant to make people frightened and worried and scared, and react with great dignity and great strength and great determination. That it doesn't change us. It's not going to change what we do.
In the end, what they want us to do is to turn around and say, oh, it's our fault. The people who are responsible for terrorist attacks are the terrorists. And, you know, this combination of this evil, bankrupt ideology based on a perversion of Islam, with terrorism, this is something that has built up over a period of time. It will have to be dismantled over a period of time. But I've got no doubt at all, that in the end, the values that we represent are the values that will triumph.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: That's British Prime Minister Tony Blair just a little while ago, talking about that resentment. That really, Bill Daly, is where we get to the core of all this. Because whether they are associated or not, there is that common disenchantment among Muslims over what's happening with world events. And until that root issue is dealt with, there's going to be a constant supply of recruits, either associated or not, to try to stage these kinds of attacks. That's a difficult thing to thwart.
DALY: It's difficult because there's an ideology. But, you know, Miles, I believe there are other elements that go into allowing people to be brought into it. Just two weeks ago, the bombers were all between 20 and 30 years of age, fairly young people with roots. Some of them had families and children. And you say what was it that drew them into it? Perhaps it's things such as employment opportunities, perhaps it's other things that can take them away from being swayed into that ideology.
And there's always negativity, there's always evil that will be out there. And the thing is to keep people being swayed into it by perhaps keeping them more in the mainstream. And I think that's where probably some of the underlying -- under (INAUDIBLE), those root causes may be. We may not be able to change the ideologies themselves, but we can deal with security, we can deal with intelligence, and perhaps deal with some other things that lead people to be drawn into these.
O'BRIEN: All right. As he said, won't be an easy, overnight thing. Bill Daly, we'll leave it at for now.
For now let's go back go to Christiane Amanpour, who is on the streets of London -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: The police have moved back from there and said that the incident is over. But we're still waiting to see exactly what they were after and who they might have been able to get.
Of course, if, as we've been talking to our security analysts, if they can catch one of the attackers, if they can get one of the devices that didn't go off, then obviously their investigations will be that much clearer and that much easier.
At the moment, though, we're still waiting. Apparently in about 50 minutes from now, there's going to be a briefing from all the officials, the security officials involved as we've seen over the last two weeks, after the July 7th bombing.
Right now, we're going to go to Tim Ewart of our sister station ITN, who is Oval.
Tim, what is the latest where you are?
TIM EWART, ITN LONDON: Well, Christiane, we're still waiting for a briefing from the police here to tell us exactly what did happen in the underground station, which you can see behind me. This is the Oval Underground Station. The road immediately behind me has just been reopened to let a few cars through. That tube station is still surrounded, as you can see, by police and emergency-service vehicles.
What happened down there, as far as we know, was that there was some kind of explosion, one eyewitness described it more like a champagne cork being released from a bottle than anything else. The carriage of the underground train where it happened was reported to have filled, or partially filled, with in acrid smoke. And that caused, as you can imagine, a degree of panic. People began fleeing, running of the train.
And there are also reports that the man who was believed to have been behind the explosion was chased by some of the passengers and may indeed have run down to the road that just goes to the right of the station where you may be able to see a yellow police vehicle. Now this is based on eyewitness reports from people who were outside the tube station. Whether or not that man was apprehended, we don't know.
As the road was cleared, the main road going down behind me, police appealed as they drove along, making people move back. They appealed for any people on the train or any London underground staff who were there to assemble in a building which is halfway down that road which remains closed. And quite obviously those people are being questioned to see if they can put together a clear picture of exactly what did happen here.
AMANPOUR: Tim, from your reporting, it does seem obviously clear that one of these people was visible, was seen and was chased. Apparently he got away, but that's, obviously, far different from what happened last time around. This clearly means that the police are probably going to get one of the people who did it. I mean, that will probably help their investigations.
EWART: Well, anything I would say on that Christiane would be speculation. I mean, there have been stories that the police were involved in pursuing somebody, that passersby were involved in pursuing people. Excuse me. We've had a lot of police around here in the last couple of hours. Police vans have been coming and going. Police with their sirens on and their blue lights flashing.
It's very hard to get an accurate picture of what has happened, but it does appear that the person who was behind the explosion. If it was a bomb, it obviously didn't detonate. If it was just a detonator, that may have accounted for the bang that was heard.
It does appear that somebody from this tube station was chased away from the area and may, for all we know, have been caught. But I have no definitive information on that, unfortunately.
AMANPOUR: Tim, thanks very much. Tim Ewart of our sister station ITN. And just to confirm now that there will be a Scotland Yard briefing, news conference in 45 minutes from now, and perhaps some of the questions that we're asking will be answered then.
We're going to go to CNN's Phil Hirschkorn, also at the Oval. And you have, I believe, a witness there with you, Phil.
HIRSCHKORN: Yes, Christiane, I just wanted to add new information which my colleague, Katie Turner, obtain here on the other side of the Oval. She spoke to, which for us is the first person we met who was actually on the train when the incident occurred. She's a French woman. She gave her name as Ingrid. She lives here in London. She was on the train in an adjacent carriage, and she told us she didn't feel or hear any sort of an explosion or vibration, but she did smell smoke, very acrid smoke, as she described it, which made her tear up; it made her cry. She said the train was moving at the time, and it was in between Oval Station and the station which is just north of it called Pennington when this happened.
Again, this is someone who is on the train, when the incident here at the Oval Station happened, said she smelled smoke. It was acrid, and she and the other passengers evacuated just as soon as the train had gotten to the Oval Station. It's a very short trip from Kennington to Oval, so in that sense they were lucky. It didn't take them long to stop the train and for them to get out of harm's way.
AMANPOUR: Now others, Phil, at the Oval said that they saw, what they say was a suspect who they tried to chase down and were not able to catch. Did this lady that you were talking to say anything about that kind of incident happening?
HIRSCHKORN: No, the lady that Katie Turner talked to, that we talked to, did not have that account. She did not see that. But as Tim from ITN was saying, there are people around here who are mentioning that and, as he was also saying it's somewhat speculative. The police have not really leveled with us about what they're doing here and whether there are any suspects or people that they saw -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And as Tim was saying, the cordon is still there and you've been saying that you've seen people walking. What is the situation around there?
HIRSCHKORN: It's fairly calm. It's really other than this somewhat tragic incident that's unfolding, it's a beautiful day here in London. People are walking home. It is now approaching what would normally be rush hour, and we're starting to see larger crowds of people walking home along the sidewalk, which runs above the street which this train normally would be running. But the train line is closed.
I also wanted to introduce you to someone you can talk to. His name is Dave Volle (ph), and he was one of the many concerned Londoners who rushed to the scene out of concern to help. And I wanted you to continue the interview with him. I'm going to hand him the phone, and this is Dave Volle from London.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.
AMANPOUR: Hello, go ahead. You're on CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, yes. AMANPOUR: What did you see?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a good bit of a traffic noise here, but go ahead, yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes, you rushed in to help. What happened? Tell us about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I live about five minutes away from the Oval Tube Station, and I heard the news flash that there's been an incident, so I grabbed the first-aid kit and I ran down here. But I don't know how long the gap between the newsflash and the incident was, but the police had already taped the area off. I was asked to standby, and then informed that there actually weren't any casualties at the Oval. I gather there's been one minor casualty at the Warren Street incident. So happily I wasn't called on, because I was, you know, coming down with some trepidation and expecting things to be as they had been at the various sites on July 7th.
AMANPOUR: And on July 7th, did you rush into action as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn't close to any of the sites at the time. And so by the time I knew about, the emergency services were already in attendance. I mean, I did ring up and ask if there was a need for blood donation. But there wasn't really much else that could be done. You know, if you weren't part of the professional services at that time.
AMANPOUR: All right. Listen, thank you very much indeed, to you and to our producer, Phil Hirschkorn.
Just want to go to Shane Brighton, a security analyst who's with me here. We're going to -- apparently in about 40 minutes now, there's going to be a Scotland Yard briefing, with all the transport police, I suppose, the cast of characters that we've become very familiar with over the last two weeks. What do you want to -- what are you looking to hear from them?
BRIGHTON: Well, I guess we're going to get a more complete picture. And I guess what we probably won't get is the nature of the devices that were used here and the reasons why they didn't go off. I think we'll probably have that information, but not today, but that would be really would tell us, I think, about the nature of this group, and whether there's any substantial link between them and the people that attacked the London underground two weeks ago, or whether indeed it's another completely independent bunch of people that are doing this for other reasons.
AMANPOUR: And why do you think one wouldn't get that analysis today?
BRIGHTON: I think it's probably too early. I think that they're probably going to be looking at the devices. If they manage to get devices that are still intact, that's obviously much more helpful much more quickly. Otherwise if these are devices that have gone after partially, or are disrupted through the detonators, having ignited or whatever, they're going to be slightly harder to get clues from, to get information from.
AMANPOUR: From your background in these matters, you've heard several of these eyewitnesses say that they smelled acrid smoke; their wasn't fire, but they smelled smoke. What does that indicate, if it's not a bomb that's gone off?
BRIGHTON: It's difficult to say. I mean, what you might have had is a partial detonation and some flammable material within the device itself that's gone off, maybe burnt the packaging it was contained in, maybe burnt the bag or the rucksack that it was contained in. Really very difficult to tell without knowing more about the actual device.
AMANPOUR: Well, we'll wait for the Scotland Yard briefing and see if we can get any more specific details. As we've heard over the last course of the last few hours, and we've heard from Prime Minister Blair, an element of politics is now being injected into this. The war in Iraq is being brought up. And reporters are questioning reports and expert analysis that have said the war in Iraq and Britain's strong support for it has made this country more of a target.
Libby Weiner, again from our sister station ITN, is outside 10 Downing Street. Libby, were you at that press briefing? And how did Prime Minister Blair take all the Iraq references?
LIBBY WEINER, ITN REPORTER: Yes, I was at that briefing. And, as you say, the issue did come up. I asked the prime minister whether he, in any sense, felt that his policies had put ordinary people in London in the front line in the war on terror. His answer was that the only people responsible for terrorism was the terrorists themselves. But he didn't elaborate.
And it was very much John Howard, the Australian prime minister who was with him there today, who was visiting London when the incidents happened, who effectively articulated what Mr. Blair said on previous occasions, which is that you can't link foreign policy with these terrorist attacks. John Howard saying that, for example, the worst attack on Australian citizens was the incident in the Bali, when more than 80 Australians died. That happened before Australia ever got involved in the war against Iraq.
AMANPOUR: Libby, on the other hand, respected organizations here have said that Iraq has made Britain more of a target and that, according to polls, a significant number of the British people believe that the attacks are happening because of Iraq. In your coverage, in your interaction with British people, do they believe that now more and more?
WEINER: Well, I think it's too early for people to be jumping to conclusions about the incidents today in London. I think what people are mainly worried about here is their security, their safety as they go about their daily business. Now, the prime minister was urging people to stay calm, to carry on with their normal business, not to be put off by these attacks. But I think the plain fact is, coming two weeks after those appalling bombings on the London Underground and on a bus two weeks ago, I think many people are finding those reassurances ringing a little hollow.
I think that is the problem for the prime minister, that although these incidents don't seem to be nearly as serious as the ones a fortnight ago, nevertheless, people are now scared. And it be all right for him to say that, effectively, people should not be put off going about their daily business, but I think many people in London will be.
AMANPOUR: Libby, at one stage, I was actually quite stunned to hear the prime minister say, in response to a reporter, that I don't know much more than you do right now. I mean, I find that hard to believe, but also do you think that was part of this sort of studied calm?
WEINER: Well, I think he wanted the police to be taking the lead in giving out actual information about what was going on. Obviously, it's a changing situation. I can tell you that Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, is in Number 10 now with the prime minister. He's there at a scheduled meeting, which was due to discuss intelligence gathering, whether the intelligence services needed more help, more resources in their work. So he is there at the moment with the prime minister, and I'm sure he'll be updating him as to exactly what's gone on in London today.
AMANPOUR Libby Weiner, thank you so much. Libby Weiner from our sister station, ITN. And also, the prime minister was, as Libby says, scheduled to meet with intelligence officials and others about the use -- the future use of wiretap information, the kind of secret surveillance information that intelligence services gather. And the prime minister seeking to see whether intelligence people would sort of allow them to use that kind of wiretapping in court against potential and suspected terrorist suspects. So there's an ongoing issue of how to deal with this situation and how to prosecute them to the maximum extent in court. Back to you, Fionnuala.
M. O'BRIEN: CNN's Christiane Amanpour, reporting from the streets of London. Miles O'Brien back here in New York.
Let's just recap for you. Two weeks and probably about four hours after the original attacks that focused so much attention on the London Underground and the London Transit System, which killed 56 people, injured 700 others. Hauntingly parallel attack of much lesser magnitude to tell you about in the heart of London. Three subway stations, three subway stations, underground tube station, affected. One bus, the top deck of a double-decker bus affected by much lighter explosions.
We're told there's one casualty as a result of this, but, of course, a lot of concern and for that matter, at times, panic in the city of London today, as people reacted to yet another terror attack on that city and on that city's transportation system. We've heard from witnesses all throughout the day as they've explained, in harrowing terms, what went on beneath the surface of the streets of London. Let's listen to one right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I haven't seen anything about what was experienced in firsthand. I was in the carriage. I was reading my book, going northbound on the train, on the Victoria Line, when we suddenly smelled -- we started to smell, like, burning wires or rubber. But it was a mixture of the both of them. But, and then suddenly, all everybody started to panic and run in from the carriage to the next carriage. And there was a general panic, for everyone was panicking. And everyone was making their way to the car, the next carriage. And there were screams everywhere. So I have with me in my hand, some shoes of people who left them behind.
One lady (INAUDIBLE). One lady, she lost both her shoes. I think she went home bare feet or something. And there was no way you can get out of the carriage, because the door is so narrow. One thing came to my mind, is just wait for it to happen. I knew it was a bomb. But I made my -- I said my prayers and just waited for it to happen. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: No matter how many times you hear that, that is a harrowing tale indeed. We will be getting back to Christiane Amanpour and the rest of our team on the streets of London as their reporting comes in.
But in the meantime, we wanted to check in with one of our terror and security analysts, Pat D'Amuro. He joins us now from Time Warner Center. Pat, when you heard about this this morning, was there a sense of disbelief?
PAT D'AMURO, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: No. You know, we're very much away in the security business and being with the bureau before that al Qaeda desires to conduct multiple attacks. It doesn't surprise me at all that they would come back. Again, it's too early to say whether or not al Qaeda is involved. When we look at what's occurring here, the fact that these devices didn't detonate, what's important now is for the authorities in the U.K. to take a look at the devices that were recovered to see if it has the same fingerprint as the devices from two weeks ago.
O'BRIEN: Can we say with some certainty that these are failed devices, or is it possible this was attack that, for whatever reason, they didn't have the firepower and just wanted to send out a message?
D'AMURO: Well, we don't know that. We do know that the authorities in the U.K. and the Metropolitan Police recovered some explosive material after the bombings two weeks ago. Did this affect this particular operation? It's still too soon to tell. And we still don't know who's responsible for the devices today.
O'BRIEN: And it's worth pointing out the TATP -- this is the initials of that chemical mix that constituted the explosive devices of two weeks ago -- is very unstable. And if, in fact, that same mix was used here, there could have been all kinds of reasons why these bombs might have failed, right? D'AMURO: That's correct. And again, the fingerprint on these devices recovered today should lend a lot of intelligence and information as to who may be involved in the events of this morning.
O'BRIEN: Of course, you've got human intelligence, too. It's possible there are suspects being held. We've heard some reports from witnesses about one suspect trying to flee who apparently was apprehended. So that obviously gives investigators a big advantage over what happened two weeks ago.
D'AMURO: Absolutely. There's a global effort ongoing right now to look for individuals that may have been involved with the attacks two weeks ago.
O'BRIEN: How alarming is this to you, two weeks after? This is clearly a statement on the part of terrorists.
D'AMURO: If, in fact, it is related and we can bring this back to al Qaeda or the Sunni extremists that are involved with al Qaeda in the U.K., then, yes, it is showing that they are increasing their desire to conduct these types of attacks.
O'BRIEN: Let me ask you, though, about these attacks, if you would for a moment. Because, if it is, in fact, al Qaeda, the goal for al Qaeda clearly stated -- no secret there -- is to stage spectacles, 9/11 magnitude spectacles. What we're seeing in the wake of 9/11 is the so-called 3/11 effect, referring back to the Madrid bombing of those commuter trains, March a year ago. And as we go, we see, perhaps, a diminished capability to stage those spectacles. Is that good news? In other words, is there a hidden good news story in all of us? I know that sounds odd to even say that.
D'AMURO: Well, I don't know if you could actually call it good news. I think the sea change that took place with the bombings in Spain -- and when I was down in Washington, you know, working on that type of event -- the concern there was that they were going to start attack -- attacking much softer targets on a smaller scale, which is a major concern for security globally, because it did represent a sea change in the type of attacks that these extremists were going to undertake.
O'BRIEN: Pat D'Amuro, a security analyst for us. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. And just to wrap it up, yet another investigation is under way. We should hear from Scotland Yard in about a half an hour, as they try to shed a little bit more light, from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, deferring much of the details to Scotland Yard. We should know a lot more very soon, as soon as they make their briefing. But just to remind you, we're talking about three underground stations and trains that were near these stations.
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