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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Deadly Terror Attack at Boston Marathon

Aired April 15, 2013 - 20:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. I'm coming to you from Boston tonight, just a few blocks away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It is of course a crime scene tonight. Earlier today, it was a killing ground, site of the first mass casualty terror attack on American soil in a dozen years.

A coordinated attack, at least two dead at this hour, including an 8-year-old boy.

There are so many developments to tell you about at this hour and we have a team of correspondents and experts covering this from all different angles.

I want to begin, though, by showing you, as it happened, what words simply cannot fully describe. It is difficult to watch. I want to warn you, very raw, but that's exactly what it is right now. Take a look.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop that video.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

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COOPER: So difficult to watch. A day that began with so much joy, so much excitement. A day to look forward to all year long by runners, by their families and those who wanted to come out and support them. A day that meant so much to this city, a day that has now ended in tragedy.

That is what it looked like just before 3:00 p.m., four hours, nine minutes and 44 seconds into that race. The first explosion on Boylston Street just off Copley Square, across from the public library, really the heart of Boston. Then 12 seconds later, about 100 yards up the street, a second explosion. Elsewhere, authorities found at least one other explosive device which are -- which are being analyzed at this moment. Now the bombs that did go off, small but deadly.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were banged up. Yes. Severe lacerations, amputees, a lot of shrapnel. You know, they were pretty big explosions. They were banged up. A lot of blood everywhere.

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COOPER: Doctors are saying they're removing ball bearings from people's bodies. That's a sign of the type of device that might have been used and the intent of whoever it was or the person or persons or group that set this device. Ball bearings used to maximize casualties.

Perhaps the only saving grace, because this was a marathon, the finish line area was already prepared for medical triage and for transport. It quickly became a makeshift E.R. At least 132 people were taken to several nearby hospitals. At least 17 right now in critical condition. We know two have died.

President Obama was briefed early and has launched a massive federal investigation. He spoke to the nation at dinnertime.

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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. Any -- any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.

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COOPER: Please confirm -- well, as for those who did this, no claims of responsibility and no credible threats, authorities said, before this race began. Possibilities of course span the entire globe, includes the homegrown variety. Could be domestic terrorism, it could be foreign terrorism. At this point, we simply do not know and there's a lot, we should point out, that we do not know at this hour.

And as you know, early reports are often incomplete or often incorrect so we're being very careful in what we are reporting tonight because we want to give you the facts as we know them, as accurately as possible.

This is -- it's tax day and it's also close to the anniversaries of the siege of Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing. There are a lot of significant anniversaries around this date. A very full hour.

But I want to start by bringing in James Brennan, who manages Sugar Haven -- Sugar Heaven outlet on Boylston Street.

James, you heard the explosion. What did you see and hear?

JAMES BRENNAN, EYEWITNESS: Anderson, I was actually in the front -- inside the store ringing up a customer. It was around 3:48 p.m. when I heard the first explosion --

COOPER: How far --

(CROSSTALK)

BRENNAN: I was -- we were actually about five feet from where the bomb went off.

COOPER: Five feet.

BRENNAN: So we were literally, literally right next to Marathon Sports. We actually had the door open at the time as well. It was a very, you know, disheartening experience. You know, there was casualties laying on the ground outside. I actually had seen a picture on Facebook earlier of a woman that had come in our store earlier and she was, you know, lying dead on the sidewalk. It was --

COOPER: You actually recognized her?

BRENNAN: I actually recognized her from coming in the store today and purchasing candy from us.

COOPER: How far apart were the two explosions?

BRENNAN: Two explosions, it was about three or four seconds. The first one, I thought it may have been generator going off or maybe fireworks, something, you know, with the festivities. Marathon is such a huge event that, you know, I thought it could have just been something like that. And then once the second explosion went off, I told everyone, I said, we've got to evacuate, this is a bomb going off.

You know, it was all pandemonium and there was these casualties running into the store. We actually had a pool of blood in the middle of our store and there was -- there was a woman actually grabbing spools of yarn in our store, wrapping people to cut off the circulation so they wouldn't bleed out.

It was really just a spectacle of how people came together and actually acted, you know what I mean? We had so many people run out of the store but there were a few people standing outside and I got a little teary-eyed when I seen these three people trying to lift up this woman who couldn't stand. I mean, it was absolutely heart- wrenching.

COOPER: How are you doing? Are you OK?

BRENNAN: You know, I'm of course a little bit shooken up. I went home and seen my wife and my baby, and you know, everything's good at home. She's just happy to know that I'm alive. You know, we actually had some of our employees standing outside as mascots earlier in the evening and you know, it was really such a blessing that no one was outside at the time.

COOPER: Yes.

BRENNAN: When the explosion went off.

COOPER: I want to bring in Thom Kennedy, who's an Afghan war vet, who was running in the race.

Thom, I appreciate you being with us. First of all, how are you doing?

CAPT. THOM KENNEDY, EYEWITNESS/MARATHON RUNNER: I'm doing all right, Anderson. Thank you.

COOPER: What did you see? What did you hear?

KENNEDY: I had crossed the finish line about two minutes before the first explosion went off and was walking pretty slowly towards the corral, and we heard the explosion, the first explosion. A couple of us crouched down, a bunch of other people just kind of turned and looked and we saw the smoke coming up over the proceeding and that was over the finish line there.

COOPER: Did you know what it was right away? I mean, you've served overseas.

KENNEDY: You know, the sound was eerily similar. And there was a young woman next to me who was in Iraq that we both looked at each other and thought no, it can't possibly be. We started moving, you know, through the corrals. The sounds that were coming from that end of the street were -- they weren't that much different from our perspective because there had always been cheering fans and yelling and cheering for people coming over the line.

And the Boston Marathon folks were all extremely calm, just moving people through the line so I reached out to call my wife right away, who was just a few blocks up on Boylston Street, who I knew was heading to meet me at the family recovery area, who would be walking right past that area.

So I called her first. And then a few people that were around me wanted to use my cell phone so they started trying to get ahold of people as they could before we just couldn't get a signal out because of all the cell phone use.

COOPER: Have you -- I mean, what is it like to have been in Afghanistan, to have gone through this and then to have this happen here at home?

KENNEDY: You can't express how absolutely disheartening it is. Being in Afghanistan or being in Iraq, any of the folks who have been over there, who have IEDs first-hand and close up, to think that somebody would do something so abhorrent here, especially at a race like marathon. The timing was just horrible when you think about it. The majority of people that were coming through at that time of the Boston Marathon had worked to raise hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, for charities and good causes.

I mean those were the runners that were coming through at the time and their families and friends that were supporting them coming through. There just -- it's a terrible time to see something like that where you've got this huge community effort trying to do good in the world in general, and to see something horrific like this happen.

COOPER: Doctors are saying they're seeing a lot of leg wounds and lower extremities which seems to indicate the device was low to the ground.

James, you were actually able to get out of the back of your store but you came back.

BRENNAN: I was. I had left through the back of the store to make sure everyone evacuated properly. I directed people towards the waterfront, just because I knew that would be a safe area. You know, I had to go back because we had so much cash inside the store and just make sure everyone -- every single person got out.

You know, when I got back there was authorities outside. Of course, you know, commanding posts then -- just, I mean, the stuff I saw was absolutely horrible. I came in, there was just blood splattered everywhere. You know, we had people cleaning up the blood with clothes. I mean, it was absolutely horrible.

COOPER: And yet, as you said, people pulling together and people trying to help one another.

BRENNAN: Yes.

COOPER: And the pictures we've seen of the first responders.

BRENNAN: Right.

COOPER: The police personnel, running toward what everyone else is running from.

BRENNAN: I mean it -- it was absolutely amazing, just the people that did stay out there, you know, even with the police saying hey, you know, you have to evacuate the area. Some people said no, I'm going to stay here and help this woman. I'm going to help this man with no leg. You know it really showed that people do still have that commitment to help others before helping themselves. And that's not something you see too often nowadays.

COOPER: Well, James, thank you for being with us.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

COOPER: And all you did today. And I hope you get some rest.

And Thom as well. Thom, thank you so much. I'm so sorry for what you witnessed today and what everybody here has gone through. But I appreciate you talking to us and thank you for your service overseas as well.

We have just gotten this, a bulletin from law enforcement. People being asked to be on the lookout for a darker skinned or black male with a black backpack and a black sweatshirt, possible foreign national, accent unclear, what the accent of the individual is, but believes to have some sort of an accent.

We are just getting that information. John King is working his sources now. He joins us with the latest on the investigation.

John, what are you hearing?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that BOLO, shorthanded police lingo for be on the lookout, just issued. And I'm going to give you some reporting from all of our CNN team including Deb Feyerick and Elise Labott, and my reporting, and several other correspondents and producers as well.

A little bit more on that BOLO you just mentioned. Law enforcement is looking for a darker skinned or black male with a black backpack and a black sweatshirt, possible foreign national, the BOLO says, because of an accent.

The BOLO notes to law enforcement officials says about five minutes before the first explosion, this individual attempted to gain entry to a restricted area and when turned away, he broke eye contact and pulled his sweatshirt and hood over his head. No further info on him is what the BOLO says.

So this is law enforcement telling other agencies and telling the public through the release of this now through our sources to be on the lookout for such an individual.

That urgency comes, Anderson, in contrast to a public statement the FBI Boston Office just moments ago put out a statement saying it's too early, the situation is too fluid to say anything about the cause or the motivation, but we do know, as you noted, two confirmed dead, including an 8-year-old boy, I'm told, by a state official in Massachusetts, 130 plus injured, many of them in critical situations tonight.

Let's go through some other reporting on the investigation. I'm told there have been several persons of interest questioned throughout the day. One source saying don't overread this, that this is part of a routine investigation. Someone shows up at a hospital with a certain type of burns, for example, they might be questioned to see if they were perhaps so close to the explosive device as to be part of the team that placed those devices.

But I'm told as of about 45 minutes ago, no one had been identified yet, Anderson, as a suspect. That would be a ratcheting up in terms of law enforcement language. This source also confirmed the upgrade, airport security screenings at Boston's Logan Airport, said there may be others in the region as well. Said this is part of the routine investigation, not, this source said, looking for any one or several specific individuals, but part of routine investigation, upgraded security screenings at the airports.

And both sources I talked to, a state official and a city official, used the term crude to describe these devices, Anderson. They obviously were quite powerful but in terms of their very -- not rudimentary, not sophisticated devices. The sources noting that they did not have far-reaching explosive power, like an IED we've seen from the Iraq experience, like the bomb used in Oklahoma City.

But as you noted earlier, these sources saying, seemed to be placed very low to the ground. In part that is based on the terrible details we're getting tonight from people in the hospital. Ten amputations, Deb Feyerick reports, a lot of leg injuries and as you noted, ball bearings among the shrapnel being removed from the victims.

So a very fluid situation. We should note that often in the early hours after such a tragedy, you get conflicting information or you get information that later turns out not to be true. But the headline at this hour, that BOLO, be on the lookout, issued by law enforcement officials for a dark skinned or black man that officials say appear to be trying to get entry into a restricted area just before that first explosion -- Anderson.

COOPER: And of course, at this point, there was a ground stop at Logan Airport. We were flying in earlier today, flights from New York were shut down for a time, then the airport opened again. So obviously, they are being very cautious all throughout the city and really all throughout the country now, various states of alert in various regions, including New York City. Officials saying they are in a heightened state of alert there, being very cautious at airports and other points of interest.

Do -- are you hearing anything from officials in terms of the number of people that it would be -- that would be needed in order to, I mean, if there were multiple devices, the number of people that would be needed to carry out something like this?

KING: No, and that is one of the biggest questions. That's one of the reasons, Anderson, so much surveillance video is being reviewed tonight. The public video we have seen and we have released on our air, anybody in the area has been asked if they have cell phone video, any kind of personal device that have video to turn it in plus you know from the area -- now I grew up in that area, if you're in the Copley Square area, heavily trafficked pedestrian, a very busy business corridor, a very busy tourist area.

So there are a number of surveillance cameras in the area, both city cameras, business cameras and the like. All that video is being looked at. Officials are saying obviously if you have several devices in different places, it is possible, possible they were placed by one or two individuals. Now the question is how were they detonated, was it a cell phone or some sort of transmitter detonator, were they detonated in person.

So those are the big questions tonight. As of this moment, law enforcement officials said they don't see this as a large scale, meaning many, many perpetrators involved, but again, they say that's based on preliminary investigation.

Anderson, one of the things they're being quite candid about tonight is a lot of these details, they simply don't know.

COOPER: Yes. And that's important to recognize. Again, and I'm going to repeat this a lot tonight, it is important to recognize what we don't know at this hour. It is very early hours in this investigation.

John, I appreciate it. We're going to continue to work your sources. All our people continue to work their sources throughout the evening.

I'm joined right now by a couple of people who have a lot of good information. Former U.S. assistant secretary of Homeland Security, Massachusetts Homeland Security advisor and CNN contributor, Julia Kayyem, she's going to be joining me here. CNN National Security analyst, Fran Townsend, also Homeland Security advisor and a member of the Homeland Security and CIA External Advisory Committee -- excuse me, CIA External Advisory Boards. Also, with us is CNN contributor and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.

Julia, thank you for coming here. Thank you so much for being with us.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you so much.

COOPER: What are you hearing at this hour? What do you think is important for people to know?

KAYYEM: I think people need to focus on first the response and how it really was successful moving people out. The primary concern was these runners who ended up coming right down this street rather than down Boylston.

COOPER: Right.

KAYYEM: The second thing is there's going to be a lot of rumors for the next 12 to 24 hours. The good news on this front is we have the devices, so that we can examine them, and there's probably a lot of cameras and video surveillance, iPhones, people took pictures. I would suspect there's a break in this within 24 hours.

COOPER: There's a lot that can be learned from looking at these devices, at the remnants of these devices.

KAYYEM: Right. Absolutely. What's the sophistication level. Fingerprints. And if it's someone who's sort of new at it, they might have left other traces that will lead them in different directions. There's going to be both the foreign intelligence aspect to this and then the domestic side to it.

People are asking me all day today oh, was it al Qaeda, was it domestic terrorism. I think we should reserve judgment. I think the caution that you're hearing from Governor Patrick and Ed Davis, the police commissioner, is about right. The who matters less now than that we're getting people to safety and they got people to safety quickly.

COOPER: Tom Fuentes, certainly the fact that there were multiple devices and seemingly coordinated, we don't know the means by which they were coordinated, but that is significant. That is a -- though they might not be sophisticated devices, that at least shows a level of planning or sophistication in how this was carried out.

THOMAS FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that could be, Anderson, but you could easily have one person drop one device in a trash container at one location, walk 100 yards to the other location, drop one in there, and then maybe remotely detonate it by cell phone or have some type of a timer or delayed fuse or some way to detonate it, where they could both go off together but not require multiple people to deliver them.

So this could be as few as one person or one, two, five people, maybe, involved in this -- setting this thing up. But it's possible for one to have done it.

COOPER: Tom, how much can you tell from the remnants of the device? I mean, I've heard that bombers or bomb makers often have signatures in how they put together a bomb. Is that true or is that sort of folklore?

FUENTES: No, that's absolutely true, and especially in regard to terrorist organizations. The reason for that is that if you're a bomb maker, you put together a device and after you've put together a device, you still have all 10 fingers, you tend to not deviate from the recipe. You don't want to be too creative and have it go off in your face.

So normally, a bomb school teaches people how to make bombs or an Internet article that tells people how to make these type of devices. Once you've done it and once your group has learned to do it that way, there's very little deviation. And that's why especially during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the intelligence gathered from the devices was very, very important in identifying where that person learned how to make the bomb, what terror group or what school or what individual bomb maker taught them to do it. So it's very important.

COOPER: Fran Townsend, what are you hearing from your sources today in law enforcement?

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, in addition to looking for something like fingerprints on the seized but unexploded devices that the Boston Fire Department had, they'll look for DNA. I mean, there may be hair, skin samples. They'll be able to not only look at the signature construction of the device, but they'll look to tie it to particular individuals.

They'll question persons of interest. That doesn't mean necessarily that that was somebody who was involved. Could be, but certainly they're going to throw a pretty wide net here, interviewing people, looking at surveillance camera video, and trying to reconstruct as best they can to understand as the president said not only who, but why, what was the motivation.

COOPER: Juliette, you've -- you work in the Boston area. You actually have run in this marathon, very impressive. How big of a security operation has it been in past years?

KAYYEM: I was the governor's homeland security advisor, every city and town that the race goes on, they all get involved, public safety, public health, emergency management. This thing is planned for about six to seven months beforehand.

The problem with the finish line is even though it's secure and it's been secure for about 48 hours. That's why I think someone probably came in during the period --

COOPER: Early.

KAYYEM: Yes. So it's secure for a long period of time and there's constant surveillance of it. The problem with the finish line is you've got 25,000 runners, their families, public health officials, people passing out water. It is very chaotic. You can never make it perfectly safe. That gives me hope that there's a lot of people with cameras who might have seen something happen.

It would be much more difficult to leave devices for a long period of time because the police presence is so strong at that point. There's a lot of public officials down there at that time.

COOPER: So you think somebody came in on this day with a device?

KAYYEM: It would have been very difficult to have a device undetected for a long period of time, given how secure that street is leading up to the Boston Marathon. And then you have 25,000 people, though, going across it over the course of the marathon, and that's when it gets more porous. That's what we want. That's what makes marathons fun.

COOPER: You can't have metal detectors on public streets.

KAYYEM: No. I mean, you couldn't. And you want spectators. Otherwise the runners won't run. And so that's what I would assume happened, is that it just became so porous, someone was able to do something.

COOPER: Tom Fuentes, what do you think is also important for our viewers to know at this hour to keep in mind?

FUENTES: Well, I think just that so far the accounts that you've heard in the media of so-called eyewitnesses have not really been eyewitnesses for the most part. They have been people who heard the explosion, who were across the street or looking at something else, and then they observed and they were eyewitnesses to the aftermath of the explosion.

But the authorities really need and hope to get is at some point someone who says yes, I saw this individual put the device in the container, he looked -- this was the description of him or he was very suspicious. Even this description of someone in the black sweatshirt, possibly foreign speaking, that's so vague, and it still doesn't necessarily tie the person to an event.

Normally you would think someone trying to plant an explosive device somewhere would not want to draw attention to themselves and act, you know, goofy and pull their sweatshirt over their head or confront the authorities or try to get into an area they don't belong, and aren't allowed to go.

So it's very difficult to find somebody who was at this event who actually saw the person or a pretty good description of someone likely to be the person who planted the bomb.

COOPER: Fran, you know, obviously in a case like this, there's a lot of rumors, there's a lot of speculation that's been floating around all day. I have been reading a lot of it on Twitter. And we're staying away from this kind of stuff. What do you know, though, about a person who was wounded in the leg who's at the hospital?

TOWNSEND: Anderson, a law enforcement official has confirmed to me that there is a Saudi national who was wounded in the leg, who was a person of interest in the hospital, that they are running leads on. But you know, as I say, Anderson, we shouldn't read too much into it. They did tell me this person is not under arrest, that this person, they are pursuing investigative leads related to this person, but there may be more than one person of interest. Right?

They just don't know. And the critical question right now that's confronting them, and you know, we've all been asking, is this a foreign or a domestic group or individual that perpetrated this event. The federal law enforcement officials were very clear they don't know that yet and so I don't want people to read too much into the -- this particular person of interest is a Saudi national that they're trying to run leads against, but it may not be the only person of interest and this individual is not under arrest yet.

COOPER: And no doubt there may be a lot of other persons of interest in the coming hours, coming days.

Fran, I appreciate all your reporting today. Tom as well.

And Juliette, thank you so much for being with us. I'm so sorry it's under these circumstances.

We're going to continue to update our investigation, talk to our sources all throughout this hour, all throughout this evening.

Our Jason Carroll is standing by at a hospital from Brigham Women's Hospital right now, where that -- that Saudi national is and where a lot of other folks are as well. The scene there has been extremely gruesome, extremely difficult. Doctors dealing with, as we said, ball bearings, multiple trauma wounds in various parts of people's bodies, often in various locations in one individual.

Jason, in terms of security at that hospital, what are you seeing?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Intense security here outside the hospital, Anderson. As I stand here now, you've got members of Boston local SWAT. About 20 of those officers are here. There are officers at the front door as well.

This is a hospital that is on lockdown for reasons that at least at this point, the hospital spokesperson, Tom Langford, would not testify why that is the case. What we can tell you is from the emotional point of view, as one nurse left here, she said it's been an extremely emotional day, as you can imagine. Emergency room doctors working, doing everything that they can.

Anderson, I'm also getting some information about the patients that they do have, that they would talk about. Twenty-eight injured patients here. They're telling us the most common types of injuries that they're seeing are injuries to the bone and to the tissue, eight to 10 of the patients here they're telling us now in serious condition. Two of them, Anderson, in critical condition. Nine of the patients were brought to the operating room. Two of those patients, we're told, have very serious potentially limb-threatening types of injuries.

The youngest patient here just 3 years old. That patient was transferred then to Boston Children's Hospital. The patients they tell us range from teenagers to someone in their mid 60s.

Once again, the nurse -- a couple of the nurses that we've seen coming out and a doctor as well, some of them just stunned, just very tired, emotionally tired, stunned by what had happened and that's what we've been seeing as you come into the city of Boston. I spoke to one of the runners who was here and he said they're still trying to comprehend, still trying to get their head around exactly what happened.

She said I crossed the finish line and then I heard one loud explosion and then -- and then we thought perhaps it was a celebration for Patriots Day. But then she said -- her friend said well, I'm not -- I don't see any cannons here and then of course then there was this second explosion, and then very quickly, Anderson, they realized what had happened.

So once again here at the hospital, doctors working, doing what they can to save the patients that they have here. This is a hospital once again that is on lockdown. Flocking here. A number of officers here, as well.

COOPER: Yes.

CARROLL: Not allowing anyone inside who doesn't have official business -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Jason, I appreciate the reporting. We'll continue to check in with you.

And I'm going to just -- it bears repeating what Jason said. A young patient, as young as 3 years old, the oldest patient at that hospital, 60 years old. You had young people, you had elderly, you had families going out to cheer on their friends, their loved ones, their family members. You had residents, citizens of this great city just went out to cheer strangers, to encourage them on and to welcome them across that finish line when the bombs went off.

I want to check in with our Sanjay Gupta. We are anticipating a press conference around 8:30. We are of course going to bring that to you live, because we are trying to get you the latest information. Really it will be any minute. We're going to bring that to you as soon as we can.

But, Sanjay, as we wait for this press conference, what are you hearing in terms of the types of injuries? Because I mean, if doctors are dealing with ball bearings and the number of amputations we've been hearing about, what does that tell you?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we are hearing a lot about these lower extremity injuries as well. And that's, you know, suggests that the explosion was low to the ground. That sort of makes sense. This ball bearings thing that you first described, very concerning, obviously, Anderson.

You worry about blast injury from an explosion like this, but now you add on to it the shrapnel coming not just from debris that's lying around, but from the explosive itself. So traveling at a high rate of speed, causing multiple other injuries in other parts of the body.

You know, you and I have both seen this sort of thing in war zones and you know, this is the type of thing that obviously in a military situation, they know how to treat quite well. Certainly in trauma hospitals, they are going to be able to treat these types of injuries, but it is unusual in a civilian setting, Anderson.

We know 141 patients are now in hospitals. The numbers keep going up. Seventeen of them are in critical condition, 25 in serious condition. Eight are children. So these are, as you mentioned, fluid numbers.

But it's very concerning, those 17 patients in critical condition, I mean, literally sort of fighting for their lives at this point, Anderson, on breathing machines with doctors and nursing trying to help them but very, very critical condition.

COOPER: The large number of amputations that we've been hearing about, why would that be so necessary? Why would there be so many?

GUPTA: Well, you know, if you have these type of injuries and I've seen some of the images where it's just a significant amount of trauma to the lower leg but also, what are known as de-gloving injuries, where you're essentially taking the bone and skin away from the bone -- I'm sorry, the muscle and the skin away from the bone.

And I've seen this again mainly overseas in war zones, but it's that type of injury that just makes the limb impossible to save. And the doctors, the nurses have to make a decision at that point they have to take the limb in order to avoid developing infection, developing gangrene, developing other parts of the body becoming infected by that injury.

So it's a heartbreaking decision to make but if it's made, it's often made early. Again, at three hospitals we're hearing now the amputations are taking place.

COOPER: We did hear from one person who was at the site of the blast who said the response that he saw was one, not that there was a silver lining, but one thing that gave him hope on this very, very dark day.

There was a triage area obviously set up at the finish line, but they would not be equipped in any way to deal with this. They would be there to deal with dehydration, the kind of things that someone who just completed a marathon would be suffering from.

GUPTA: That's right. But when you come into the sort of finishing stages of a marathon, typically you have lots of ambulances and triage vehicles standing by to take care of those sorts of problems and also any heart problems, for example, that might arise.

But I'm sure that that, as you point out a silver lining, in being able to get people to hospitals quickly, nine different hospitals, 141 patients now. So sometimes in these situations, they'll set up a sort of almost a military style battlefield tent, military medical tent there.

And that wasn't necessary here because they did have so much medical capability there and the ability to get these patients to the hospital.

COOPER: I want to also bring in John King as we await this press conference because we're all eager to hear the latest information that authorities are willing to give out. Also Fran Townsend is with us. Fran, from an investigative standpoint, who is in charge here?

TOWNSEND: Well, Anderson, the key here was once the federal law enforcement officials acknowledged that they had deemed it a terrorism investigation, the feds then become the lead investigators.

But let's be clear. The Boston police have done a terrific job and they sit together with the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston, so they're working this as partners but the federal lead in this right now becomes the FBI.

That allows them to access all the national security apparatus including the CIA and any intelligence they may be able to bring to bear.

COOPER: John King, just from the investigative standpoint, can you just kind of run through what we know because there were so many different reports today about a fire at JFK Library, then authorities say it is related. Now they say it doesn't seem to have been related to these attacks. In terms of there were two explosions we know about. How many devices do we know were found that did not go off?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're waiting for a definitive answer on that because we've been told during the day there was one other device found, that had been detonated. Other reports later, we were told by sources saying they believed there were two of those.

It will be very interesting when we get this briefing because what you get is the urgent need, the public wants information, we want information, we want to try to confirm things we have been told by sources, yet law enforcement is traditionally very, very cautious at the early stages of an investigation.

Number one so that they don't get out ahead of themselves, if you will, say things that turn out to be untrue and number two, if they are pursuing leads, last thing they want to do is give that information out in public. Here is what we know. It will be interesting to see if they discuss this publicly at this briefing.

Number one, CNN is now aware thanks to reporting from Deb Feyerick and Elise Labott, they are at BOLO, it's police lingo for be on the lookout, that's been issued for a dark skinned possibly black male that this BOLO says tried to enter a restricted area about 5 minutes before the first explosion.

And again, the BOLO, be on the lookout alert that goes out to law enforcement, says that once denied access to the restricted area, this person lost eye contact, pulled the hood up over his head and left the scene, said he had a foreign accent, seemed to have a foreign accent.

That is a BOLO and again, this could be something innocent, it could be somebody trying to walk into an area, finding out it was restricted and just leaving under what somebody thought was suspicious activity. But we do know that BOLO has been issued to law enforcement.

We also know, Anderson, that several persons of interest have been questioned during the day and we now have from Fran, who you just spoke to and Deb Feyerick's reporting and other reporting as well, at least one of them is at a hospital and has been identified as a Saudi national.

Again, not being called a suspect, being called a person of interest that's a key distinction in law enforcement technology, but it means among the leads being followed, leads to the questioning of that individual. He's at a hospital, we are told, a heavily police guarded hospital.

Other information, two dead, two confirmed dead as we know, one of them an 8-year-old boy, a 130 to 140 of those injured, as that information comes in. Anderson, you're in the city of Boston so you see what happens after an event like this, upgraded screenings at Logan Airport and other airports in the area.

Again, I'm told not looking for any one or any specific group of individuals, just routine upgrading, racheting up of security. Also I just got word that U.S. Coast Guard is now increasing patrols in the Boston Harbor area.

Again, one of the questions in a situation like this is, is this an isolated attack, isolated episode in the heart of Boston or is it part of a plot that would lead to follow-on attacks either in Boston or elsewhere? That is among the many questions, many questions investigators are trying to answer tonight. COOPER: I can tell you, you hear some police vehicles going by us right now, actually looks like sort of an emergency response team, maybe perhaps even a bomb squad team. But we're seeing that a lot. We have seen a lot of bomb squad teams from various municipalities driving around in Boston just to get to the location we're in right now, which is just a few blocks from where the explosions were, the finish line was.

But this entire area obviously, as you can imagine, has been locked down. John, one other question about the investigation as we are awaiting this press conference, in terms of the two devices that went off, it's been said that they weren't sophisticated.

We hear from doctors they're dealing with a lot of ball bearings inside people that they are having to remove and that have caused extensive damage. Do we know anything about how those devices may have been detonated?

KING: We don't as yet. There has been some speculation it could be done by cell phone or some sort of transmitter, but we have no information on that. Again, that is another one of the questions. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Congressman Michael McFall, was on "OUTFRONT" with Erin Burnett earlier tonight.

As he was leaving the set, he told me these appear to be IED-like devices, but he also cautioned saying, they don't have, based on his intelligence briefings so far, they don't have specific information. IED conjures up images you're all too familiar with.

I know Dr. Gupta is as well, of explosives used in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, sadly, in this internet age, you can go online and get advice and tips and even a plan on how to make these devices. But the ball bearings, that type of a shrapnel explosive device, crude or otherwise, is designed to impact as much possible harm.

By crude and unsophisticated, these sources are not saying not deadly and obviously not harmful. You see the injuries. But if you look at the pictures, including these pictures right here, what the people analyzing them are judging.

And the reason they say these are crude and unsophisticated is that people not all that far away from the explosion either did not have concussive impact or did not have shrapnel flying that far away.

Clearly in the immediate area where these devices went off, there was heavy damage, at least two fatalities, gruesome injuries including ten amputations so far. But people not all that far away, you've spent time in Iraq, spent time in Afghanistan, you know what it can be like when a powerful IED goes off and you see damage to the surrounding buildings.

If you look at some of these pictures, very close to where that first device went off, the glass in the storefronts, for example, is still intact. This is one of the things investigators will look at. Again, there are dozens of street corner surveillance cameras in that area.

The banks and the businesses and the public library have surveillance cameras, plus of course, so many of the spectators in this day and age have cameras on their phones and other devices, all of that now being pored over by investigators. It will be very interesting to see how forthcoming they are when they give their latest briefing to us, which is scheduled to be moments away.

COOPER: We're awaiting that press conference. Sanjay, you have operated on service members in front line combat units. You were out with the devil docs in Iraq. How familiar are doctors stateside who have not served in a military unit, who have not been in a combat zone, how familiar are they are these kind of injuries on such a large scale?

GUPTA: You know, they're not that familiar. It's interesting, we don't hear thankfully about these types of injuries and these types of explosions obviously occurring here domestically as much. But I will tell you, the principles of trauma care are pretty much the same.

Regardless of the source of the injury, you know, they even call it ABC. You want to protect someone's airway, make sure they're breathing, make sure the circulation to their body, the blood circulation, is intact or you're doing something to improve that.

Beyond that, you have these types of injuries, again, this explosion low to the ground causing a lot of lower extremity injuries, leg injuries. You also had the ball bearings, which I'm being told now causing multiple different injuries in particular patients.

So you have the concussive sort of impact of the explosion then the shrapnel or secondary blast of the impact as well. And again, this isn't something, my guess is, that most of the doctors in these nine hospitals have seen precisely, but it doesn't mean they're not going to know how to treat it because the principles of trauma care will still remain the same.

COOPER: Yes. When you have this large number of patients, more than 100 people now at this point with some level of injuries, that obviously presents a whole other host of challenges.

GUPTA: It does. You know, these are big trauma centers and this is a big city, so you also have by my count at least nine different hospitals which have been able to take patients, including at children's hospital as well.

So it does spread out the resources to a certain degree but you're right, this would be the same as having a multiple car, for example, accident and all those patients going to a single hospital. You have a lot of redundant resources, but this is going to be testing those resources tonight, I'm sure -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. I'm told our Susan Candiotti has new information, more information about the investigation. Susan, what are you learning? SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. I've been talking with a former federal law enforcement official at the top level of the counterintelligence community and someone who still works in the intelligence community. This person is saying that to say that the JTTF is fully engaged is simply an understatement. That the timing of the bombing, according --

COOPER: Joint Terrorism Task Force.

CANDIOTTI: That's exactly right. He is saying, Anderson, that the timing of this is very interesting as to when the explosion occurred. This was four hours into the marathon. Now, that seems to indicate or might indicate that this might not have been meant to implant or occur or make happen, the maximum amount of damage.

And it also might speak volumes, according to this former official, as to the level of planning that went into this. For example, this official said it is possible that the people or persons who planted it, might not have been able to get access to the front line there when they wanted to.

Maybe not when people were packed in like sardines, as the source put it, at the end of the race when the winners were first crossing the finish line. And that it's possible that the fact that there were multiple unexploded devices also could indicate that these people, whoever was behind this, weren't able to get to where they wanted to be to make these devices explode.

So what they said, certainly what is happening right now is that the law enforcement community is going after getting subpoenas to get all the records from the cell phone towers in the immediate area of Copley Plaza to try to determine and trace down to the phone who was making, which phones were making calls at that exact moment in time before the bombs that did go off, went off.

And they can trace these down, triangulate it to trace each and every phone call that was made. So these unexploded devices as well, of course, Fran was talking about this as well, Fran Townsend here, that they will provide a treasure trove of information.

Not only the devices that went off because they're looking, of course, at the signatures, the way that these devices were put together, how they were made, but also the unexploded devices because they could have fingerprints.

They could look for the makeup of these devices to try to trace where the items came from that put it together, the containers they were in and that kind of thing so a lot of work going on right now by investigators -- Anderson.

COOPER: Interesting, interesting, a couple different theories there from law enforcement personnel. Susan, appreciate that.

Fran, in terms of IEDs, I mean, U.S. officials, U.S. authorities, United States government has learned so much about improvised explosive devices frankly by studying them from Iraq and more recently in Afghanistan. I mean, they can really be very small.

TOWNSEND: That's right, Anderson. You'll remember there was a disrupted plot here in New York on the subway using backpack bombs. It's that sort of, you know, when we think of a domestic incident when an improvised explosive device, they can be as small as a backpack, which is easy if you want to dispose of it whether in a trash can or mailbox or under a seat or grandstand.

You can imagine and with so many people walking around the Boston Marathon area, carrying containers of water and dry clothes and that sort of thing, you can see how an unattended package --

COOPER: Fran, I'm sorry. I got to just interrupt. Authorities in Boston are going to be talking now to reporters. Let's listen in. Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts about to speak. So let's listen.

(BEGIN LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE)

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Everybody set? I'm going to make a couple of comments and then turn it over to Rick Delorea, special agent in charge of the FBI's office here, and then ask Commissioner Ed Davis to make some comments and then we're happy to take any questions that you may have.

As you all know, this whole community has been dealing with a horrific event today, two explosions on Boylston Street near the finish line of today's Boston Marathon. Over 100 people were injured, some gravely. We are not ready yet to confirm the details of those injuries.

There are federal, state and local law enforcement all on scene and coordinating very closely. The FBI has taken charge of the investigation, as I mentioned, special agent in charge Rick Delorea will speak to that in just a minute.

This is an active investigation, particularly in the several blocks around Boylston Street, around the blast area. That is a crime scene. The National Guard has secured that crime scene and is limiting access to it so that will affect not just this evening, but the next day or two while the investigation continues.

A support center has been opened at the Park Plaza Castle on Arlington and Columbus Avenue. Runners, there are several runners who were unable to finish the race, as you may know, because the race was stopped at Mass Avenue right after the event.

There are buses bringing those runners from various cities and towns along the route to that support station now, and families who have not had a chance yet to connect or other friends and supporters not yet had a chance to connect with runners or who have other needs can check in there at the support center.

The city, the mayor and his staff have made staff available at the support center to help meet people's needs. Otherwise, the city of Boston is open and will be open tomorrow, but it will not be business as usual. It will be a heightened law enforcement presence consistent with the severity and seriousness of the ongoing investigation.

People should expect those who are riding the "t" that there will be random checks of backpacks and other parcels, and we just ask everyone to be patient with that inconvenience for the time being. It is for the public's safety.

We are also asking that everyone be on a state of heightened vigilance. That is really required of everyone. Please report suspicious packages or parcels or suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

I also want to say that there have been a number of stories I've heard this afternoon of residents in Boston and along the route in the cities and towns that the marathon passes through of extraordinary kindness shown to runners and others, neighbors and visitors who are as shaken by this experience as we are.

And we so appreciate those kindnesses and thank you for them. We're going to get through this. We do not have all the answers to all of your questions yet, not all of you here in the media or others around the commonwealth, around the country or the world.

But I can tell you from the president to the members of our congressional delegation to many, many fellow governors who have called to check in, to all of the leaders and law enforcement here in the state, at the local level and at the federal level, we are all coming together to do everything we can to get to the bottom of this. Let me turn the podium over now to Special Agent-In-Charge Rick Deslauriers.

RICK DESLAURIERS, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI: Thank you very much, Governor Patrick. The most important fact that I want to convey to everybody this evening has already been mentioned by Governor Patrick. The FBI has taken the lead in this investigation, is asserting federal jurisdiction.

It will do so through the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force. Members of which are comprised by all the members of the law enforcement agencies here represented at the podium. This will be a combined federal, state and local effort. It will be an ongoing investigation.

It is a criminal investigation that has the potential, is a potential terrorist investigation. We will be working diligently to gather information, and gather all the facts and bring those who are responsible for this crime to justice as swiftly as possible.

It is an ongoing investigation as Governor Patrick mentioned. I'm not at liberty right now to go into details of that ongoing investigation, but echoing Governor Patrick's words, I encourage everyone to have a heightened state of vigilance here in the Boston area tonight and tomorrow as we move forward.

I urge anybody who has any information pertaining to this crime to call 1-800-call FBI. This is a tip line that we have setup, ready to receive tips that might come in or leads that might come in.

The FBI is bringing substantial, very, very substantial federal resources to bear along with our federal partners, ATF is well represented here, Gene Marquez from the Boston ATF office has been a key ally of ours.

All the law enforcement agencies here will be bringing tremendous resources to bear. All federal resources that can be brought to bear will be brought up here to the Boston area. So that being said, I will turn it over now, I think U.S. Attorney Ortiz wanted to say a few words and then we'll turn it over to Commissioner Davis.

U.S. ATTORNEY CARMEN ORTIZ: Yes, good evening. I just want to echo what the governor has said and what many others have said throughout the day today, that this is a horrific tragedy in our city of Boston and we, on behalf of the Department of Justice, are here to provide all the resources necessary to this investigation.

There are a lot of questions and questions that we wish we could answer at this point but what I can assure you is that this is a very thorough and active and fluid ongoing investigation, and I ask you that you help with that.

Quite frankly, I know that there is a lot of information that is being sought, as the governor said there has been a bit of misinformation. We do not want to add to that misinformation and what we want to do is to continue to investigate this matter, get to the individual or individuals that may be responsible for this.

And the Department of Justice is prepared to provide all of the assistance necessary to not only the FBI and ATF and our other federal agencies, but our state and local partners as well. So I just wanted to echo that on behalf of the department. Thank you.

ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Thank you, United States Attorney. On behalf of Mayor Menino, I would like to offer my sympathies to the victims and the families of this horrendous event. This cowardly act will not be taken in stride. We will turn every rock over to find the people who are responsible for this.

We're working very closely with my partner, Rick Delorea. The Boston Police Department is on the scene and has been there since this incident happened. There's been a horrendous loss of life, at least three people have died in this event, but the number of injuries and the people injured is an unfolding issue right now.

We will not have hard figures on that until tomorrow morning. There were all sorts of questions that are being asked. I want to stress one thing. There is no suspect at Brigham and Women's Hospital. There are people that we are talking to, but there is no suspect at Brigham and Women's Hospital as has been widely reported in the press.

I would like to fix that right now. Again, there will be questions that you have and we'll do our best to answer them, but this is still very early in the investigation. Tomorrow, as the governor said, will not be business as usual in Boston. The Boston Police Department is on emergency deployment.

We are working 12-hour shifts and there will be a significant police presence throughout the city. Please give us some space around the Copley area as we process this scene. Again, if there are any -- any pieces of information or photos from the incident, getting those to the two tip lines.

The FBI tip line primarily, they are now in charge of the investigation because of the nature of this investigation, as well as the Boston police line at 1-800-494-tips. I would like to invite the District Attorney to say a few words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, Commissioner. Earlier this afternoon, like so many Bostonians, I was on Boylston Street near the finish line, had left about 30 minutes before this incident occurred. A short time ago, Commissioner Davis, myself, Colonel Alben and Special Agent Delorea and our top staff went down to the scene.

It was a large and disturbing scene. Like each of you, I'm praying for the victims and their loved ones. This is a terrible, terrible day for them. They and the public at large can count on our very best and most seamless work in the days to come.

Seconds after those bombs went off, we saw civilians running to help the victims right alongside members of the Boston Police Department and Boston EMS. In the hours that followed, police and medical personnel from across the region have sent dozens, maybe even hundreds of volunteers to help us here in Boston.

That's what Americans do. In times of crisis, we come together and we help one another. Moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness. They show our strength. Thank you.

PATRICK: Happy to take any questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- moments before the bomb went off, is this another false attack to (inaudible)?

PATRICK: No. Next question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have said there was no suspect but is there a person of interest either at Park Plaza or Brigham and Women's?

DESLAURIERS: I'm not going to comment on specific investigative leads that are ongoing right now. I'm not at liberty to, but there is investigative activity ongoing right now. But I'm not at liberty to comment on the specifics of that. Again, it is a very active and fluid investigation at this time. Our resources, federal, state and local, are being brought to bear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many explosive devices did you find? Can you comment on that?

DESLAURIERS: Again, I'm not going to comment on specifics of the investigation right now in terms of the number of explosives that were found at the location.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us if any undetonated explosives were found?

DESLAURIERS: No. I'm not going to comment. Evidence analysis is ongoing right now. It would be imprudent to comment before that evidentiary review is finished.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who work in the area, what should people do tomorrow?

PATRICK: In the -- just in the area that is the cordoned off crime scene which is basically running along Boylston Street from Berkeley to Mass Avenue and then north to Newbury Street and south to Huntington Street, that's the secure area right now.

Now, that may get smaller over the course of the next several hours of investigation, but that area is not going to be accessible for normal traffic. There are people in hotels and people who live there left to work out how they get to and from where they need to be.

But otherwise, I think it's fair to say that area is pretty much going to be locked down until the investigation is complete.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can people walk to their offices, walk to work?

PATRICK: Well, I think some of that has to be sorted out, but it's not going to be -- it's not going to be easy, simple or regular. I think in most cases, people are not going to be able to have access to that specific area as it evolves over the course of the night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do people do? (Inaudible).

PATRICK: Exactly, exactly. I would say in this sense, this is a little like storms we've dealt with, where we are very much going to depend on you. As soon as we get information, we will put that out and we will count on you to get it out to the general public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you confident that you found all the explosives? Are you confident that people are safe now? Should they be concerned?

DAVIS: We are in the process of going through all of the abandoned property that was discarded at those places. We've pretty much cleared the Boylston Street area. There are no further devices that we've located at this point in time.

But we are getting reports from various places about suspicious packages. That's perfectly understandable in this situation. I'm not prepared to say that we are at ease at this point in time. We are still very actively pursuing every lead that we have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you confirm that? An 8-year-old child was killed? DAVIS: I'm not going to confirm that right now. We will have that information for you first thing in the morning. The medical people are compiling that as we speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you characterize this as an act of terrorism?

DAVIS: This is a very powerful blast with serious injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the investigation the entire marathon route?

DAVIS: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you searched the entire route?

DAVIS: Well, the investigation will lead us in various places, but right now, that area that the governor outlined is our main point of focus right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regarding your search for additional devices, are you searching the entire marathon route or focused on certain areas right now beyond the Copley area?

DAVIS: At this point in time the focus of the investigation is in the area that the governor mentioned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any unaccounted for people?

DAVIS: We are actually working very closely with the families right now. We're setting up a location near here that families can come to if they have any questions. The mayor's office has fielded many calls of concern. We're going through those right now.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why were people being told prior --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 9:30 tomorrow morning will be the next briefing. Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)