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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Iran; Four Dead in Venezuelan Election Protests; Sixth Anniversary of Virginia Tech Shooting; U.S. Reacts to Boston Bombings; Timing Device Likely Used; Pediatrician Tried to Help Boy at Scene

Aired April 16, 2013 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Coverage of the Boston bombings continues, but first, we've got a quick check of other stories that are making news AROUND THE WORLD.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: A powerful earthquake striking southern Iran, this happened actually near the border with Pakistan this morning. Iranian state media reporting several people have been killed in Iran and Pakistan. It was a pretty big quake, 7.8 magnitude, but it hit an area where not many people live.

MALVEAUX: It was felt 500 miles away from Abu Dhabi. That is where buildings shook for 40 seconds or longer. There's no word yet on just the amount of damage.

In Venezuela four people are dead after a wave of violence across the country, comes after the razor-close presidential election, you might recall. Election officials have declared Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor the country's president-elect.

HOLMES: Yeah, they did so, even though the challenger, Mr. Capriles, has demanded recount. The government, though, saying, no way, at the moment.

Twenty-one troops treated in hospital earlier today after their U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in South Korea. You see there what is left of that chopper.

MALVEAUX: It happened during military exercises. This is near the North Korean border. Now the U.S. military says that most troops have been released, but six are still in the hospital in stable condition.

HOLMES: In Washington a bipartisan group of senators will not be rolling out an immigration bill today. That's because of the Boston bombings. The four Republicans and four Democrats do plan to announce details tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: Under the deal, any undocumented immigrant who entered the country after December 31, 2011, will not be eligible for citizenship.

Today is the sixth anniversary of the deadliest shooting rampage by a lone gunman in U.S. history. We are talking about the Virginia Tech massacre. Families and friends of the 33 people killed held a vigil outside the U.S. Capitol building.

HOLMES: They called the event #NoMoreNames. Also there, families and survivors from the massacres at Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, the Aurora, Colorado, theater and the Tucson, Arizona, shopping center. That, of course, is the one that wounded former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

MALVEAUX: Returning now to our top story, the bombings in Boston. The blasts on Monday, they killed three people and wounded 176. The FBI now heading up the investigation trying to figure out how this happened.


RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Our investigation certainly will not be confined, very likely, to the city limits of Boston. It would extend out to the eastern Massachusetts area.

This will be a worldwide investigation. We will take -- go where the evidence and the leads take us.

We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.


HOLMES: The search for clues, that's got to be extensive. The crime scene, what is it, 12 blocks long?

MALVEAUX: Yeah, approximately.

HOLMES: Yeah, it's crazy.

Let's bring in CNN analyst and former assistant homeland security secretary, Juliette Kayyem.

Juliette, police fanning out. We're seeing airports, Amtrak stations and the like. What is it that they're going to looking for in these early hours?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN ANALYST: Well, they're actually trying to engage a lot of the public who may be unwitting sort of witnesses to what happened.

There is a big suspicion that the perpetrator or perpetrators of this were probably on site and the reason there's no disclose sure of a cellular detonation.

So people may have picture of someone walking into the marathon area and then, four seconds later, someone has a picture of that same person. And so we're -- everyone's looking for pictures.

So both at Logan and at Amtrak, they're trying to engage the people leaving town now -- we have about 75,000 people leaving town today -- to try to get them to look at their iPhones. So that's really important.

Just about, you know, 200 feet away from me is the finish line. So they are now combing through all of that. That's a forensic site and that may lead to materials or evidence related to both the bomb and then any shrapnel or anything else that was left over that might have fingerprints.

MALVEAUX: Juliette, it's hard for people to imagine here, but trying to secure a marathon like this, a lot of times what ends up happening is that you've got well-wishers, family members who want to come back, run with you the last mile or two. I mean, this is a very difficult situation.

How on earth are they going to figure out who was in the spot there at the time and then all of these people with backpacks? I mean, lots of people have backpacks. I mean, how do they sort all of that out?

KAYYEM: That's exactly right.

So the reason why we heard about so many possible explosives yesterday was because those were all backpacks. Anyone who's run a marathon or knows a marathon, people are throwing bags everywhere. They're exhausted. They're looking for their family members.

So that's the first thing. So what they did is they had to make sure none of those were explosives.

So now they're going through whatever may be, whatever materials may still be here. It is a lot. And I will tell you this marathon will happen next year. It will be different. The finish line will probably be different.

I was head of Homeland Security for the state. This was a big part of our planning the marathon.

The problem is, of course, that the finish line, as you said, is very open, and you want it to be open. People are running into their family members' arms. It's very joyous.

There will probably be more precautions at finish line, but non one should believe that marathons can ever be safe. It is 52 -- I'm doing my math wrong -- but it's 26-times-two miles of spectators on both sides of the road and you just can't make them perfectly safe.

So you just have procedures and processes in place to ensure that people are looking out for bad things happening and that the first responders know what to do if something does.

HOLMES: You've got great insight here, so share some of it with us, if you will.

The president is meeting with cabinet member, Homeland Security today. From your perspective, set the scene for us.

What goes on in a meeting look that? What's the atmosphere going to be like? KAYYEM: Well, so there's been probably hundreds of meetings already so far because each agency is going to have a piece of this, depending on if it's foreign or domestic.

So you have the NCTC, National Counter-Terrorism Center, CIA, all of these intelligence agencies looking for potential threat streams, people that claiming they did it on the Internet.

They're doing their thing. They then -- and then you have the domestic side. The FBI has a big domestic role, the Department of Homeland Security, where I used to work, Department of Justice, You may have people involved at Transportation.

And then they all meet and the cabinet secretaries and their deputies meet, depending on what size meeting, with the president to say, here's where we are now.

The president convenes them to both show that he is leading this -- which I think is important -- the American public needs to see it. Also to make sure that the government is talking in one voice.

It is very important right now that you don't have cabinet members going off saying their own thing. You want to be on message with what the president's message is, which is, as he said just about an hour ago, that the investigation is going to take longer than the response.

And so all of this speculation about an interview here or a Saudi woman there is really just that, speculation.

So that's what's going, and then he directs it. He's got his counterterrorism team there.

MALVEAUX: And, Juliette, real quick here, I know, the president, he's trying to project a sense of confidence at the same time as they are cautious as well.

Is there anything that you have seen that either indicates whether it's domestic or foreign terrorism? Anything?

KAYYEM: So, I mean there's -- my gut is telling me domestic, but I could very well prove wrong, mostly because the foreign intelligence is clearly not going to be disclosed.

There's almost no way that a lot of that stuff is not going to trickle out right now.

Where the domestic stuff is really just from the evidence at the scene, these now appear to be unsophisticated bombs.

The Boston marathon, even though it has a global invite list, it really is a local event. No one has taken credit for this. That's really an attribute of really a criminal or domestic criminal.

And so that's just sort of -- that's just speculation of having been in the field, but I between say I don't know what I don't know. So I want to -- I think it's important that both sides of it, the foreign and the domestic, go and investigate and lead in the direction where the evidence is rather than some speculation beforehand that it's one thing or the other.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely. Smart approach. Thank you, Juliette. Appreciate that.

HOLMES: Yeah, great insight.

Now here's an interesting sidebar, too. "Sports Illustrated's" Boston marathon issue hit the stands today, and the man on the cover there, you see, is 78-year-old Bill Iffrig.

MALVEAUX: He was actually nearing the finish line when the first bomb went off, exploded.

He told Piers Morgan that the shockwaves from the blast took him out.


BILL IFFRIG, 78-YEAR-OLD RUNNER KNOCKED TO GROUND: Just a tremendous explosion, sounded like a bomb went off right next to me, and the shockwaves just hit my whole body and my legs just started jittering around.

I knew I was going down.


MALVEAUX: So that is the guy we have been watching. That is the piece of video, that critical piece of video, where you see him crumble from the impact.

HOLMES: He said he felt something on his leg, too, but it was nothing major, just a bit of a nick of obviously a piece of debris or something like that.

But, yeah, just getting literally knocked over.

And you're going to hear more from him, by the way, in the next hour.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, the Boston bombing, it has actually London on edge now. That is because that city's preparing for its own marathon this weekend.

We're going to go live to London next to find out what security is actually being put in place there.


MALVEAUX: Of course, as the world reacts to yesterday's bombing and horror in Boston, here's look at how some of the newspapers handled the story.

This is from AROUND THE WORLD now. HOLMES: Yeah, in Canada, for starters the Montreal "Gazette," running a front page picture of the chaos at the finish line. You see it there. The same with Germany's "Bild" newspaper, which ran the headline of "Terror At Marathon.

MALVEAUX: And in the U.K, "The Times" newspaper simply said, "Bombs Bring Carnage To End of Boston Marathon."

We're going to go to London. That is where Max Foster's joining us live.

So, Max, we just saw the cover of "The Times" of London and we have also heard, I understand, from the British prime minister and the foreign minister.

How are they expressing shock or condolences?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're very quick to respond. I mean these images really have been shocking, as you say, around the world, playing and playing on the TV screens here as we get more and more through from the U.S.

From David Cameron, "the scenes from Boston are shocking and horrific. My thoughts are with those who have been affected." Very similar comments from William Hague, the foreign secretary. Also, I know that the queen has sent a personal message to President Obama. They haven't told us what's in that. Maybe he will release that later on, or the White House will. But certainly a real sense of sympathy coming from here, the U.K., to what we've seen unfold in the U.S.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Max, of course, as we've said before, the London Marathon this weekend. I know there has been statements made about security. Obviously that would be a concern. What are they saying?

FOSTER: Well, it's interesting. The head of the London Marathon, which is on Sunday, came out almost straightaway saying, this event will still carry on. Some people thinking that was too sudden. But actually it was a sign of defiance. And that's really been reflected in all the runners today as well, saying we are more determined to run in this race on Sunday in solidarity for Boston.

Interesting, a real campaign kicked off today on Twitter. It's called "hands on hearts." And it's a campaign to get the runners, as they cross the finish line on Sunday, to put their hands across their hearts in solidarity for Boston. I think you're going to see a lot of that on Sunday.

Also, we've just heard from the metropolitan police commissioner, the head of the London police, saying there will be an increased set of search officers coming out on the streets because of Boston on Sunday. Also a lot more police basically in the street, more searches, adding that the force is taking any potential link between Boston and London very seriously but they haven't got any evidence that anything might happen on Sunday so far. HOLMES: All right, Max Foster in London, thanks so much. And, of course, they'll be also looking at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, which is on Wednesday as well. So that's another one.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely, high security.

Want to go to Joe Johns. He's got some breaking news. Some updated information on the potential timing device on one of these bombs.

Joe, what are you learning?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the gist of it, Suzanne. A law enforcement official telling CNN that it is likely, but not certain, that a timing device attached to an explosive is what caused this tragedy in Boston. Now, this was in response to a question that I asked as to whether this explosion may have been caused by some type of an arrangement where a cell phone was used. And the source saying it was likely but not certain that it was a timing device that caused the bomb to explode.

Investigators, of course, sifting through all the evidence that has already been picked up there on the street in Boston, certainly would include debris of any type of device that was use in this explosion. So our information, once again, Suzanne, it was likely a timing device as opposed to a cellular phone.


MALVEAUX: And, Joe, do you know from your source, do they tell you what the significance of that is? Whether or not it's a timing device that's used or a cell phone? Because we know so many people in that area, I'm sure, had cell phones, were carrying cell phones just to communicate to their loved ones at the finish line or if they were at a coffee shop nearby. Does it make a big difference here?

JOHNS: Well, if it's accurate, what it does point to, at least a little bit, is a question about the sophistication of the device that may have been used. So, if you know that it was a timing device, then you know they were not able to arrange to trigger all of this by cellular telephone. It doesn't tell you much more than that. And again we've said all day yesterday and part of today that this device was apparently low explosive. It was also not that sophisticated. It's been likened -- at least one of these devices has been likened to a gussied up pipe bomb, if you will. So what we know is, it was a timing device that's sort of old school as opposed to new school when it comes to setting off an explosion on a city street.

MALVEAUX: All right. Joe, thank you. Appreciate that.

HOLMES: Yes, and the tragedy of the times is that it's not that hard to build a bomb, you know?: And people - I was talking to somebody earlier who was tell me the white smoke could be an indicator too. Military grade explosives will put out a black or darkened smoke. And this points more to something homegrown, whether it's fertilizer or something like, you know, peroxide or acetone peroxide.

MALVEAUX: It sound like a crude device.

HOLMES: Its - yes. And, sadly, you can go online and work it out yourself. It's tragically simple. And it doesn't have to be high-tech to - and, as we heard earlier, in a pressure cooker, bang, that magnifies the explosion as well.

MALVEAUX: A lot of damage.

HOLMES: Yes, with not very much. Yes.

MALVEAUX: And up next, we're actually going to speak to the husband of the doctor who declared that eight-year-old Martin Richard passed away, died, in that explosion.

HOLMES: Can you imagine?


MALVEAUX: One of the tragedies of this story, of course, the little boy who died, eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was there just to cheer his dad on, who was running in the marathon and lost his life. I want to bring in Pam Brown, whose there on the scene, who interviewed the family members who were involved, including the doctor, pronouncing the eight-year-old boy dead. And, Pam, who did you talk to and how did this - how did this happen?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, it was a very emotional, very powerful interview with Matt Mills. He is the husband of a pediatrician here in Boston who happened to be right next to where the explosions occurred at home. As soon as she heard the bombs go off, she ran out, started treating people, including eight-year-old Martin Richard. Here's what he had to say.


MATT MILLS, HUSBAND OF DR. KIM MILLS: I was actually down in Florida. I was out of town down in Florida and my wife was here at the house. And I had just landed about three hours - I'd been down about three hours and got a phone call from her, which was kind of strange. I was like, oh, because she had been taking pictures. We'd been talking about coming to the marathon and I was bummed I had to leave the day of. And she just texted me and said, it's her favorite holiday today in Boston. I was like, oh, I'm sorry I can't be there. And so she called and I was like, oh, hey, what's going on? And she was in this completely broken, like shattered kind of voice. Like, I'm OK, I'm OK, it's been - you know, there's been two explosions. I don't know what's going on, but I'm running in to see it I can help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So she called you first and she ran out?

MILLS: She called - she called me as she -- as I found out after I got home last night, that she -- the first thing she did is after she opened the window and saw the first one, thought it was a cannon going off or - and then she saw the second one go, the smoke, and everybody running towards Com Ave, she just - I mean she didn't even think. He just grabbed her phone, ran downstairs and called me. She ran in this -- she got what I assume is up here. She said she got to the second first aid tent or just near it and she said she showed up on the scene and there was the eight-year-old, the young boy, that she began starting to take care of and just near him was another guy with I guess was some sort of lower extremity, you know, injury. She was like, it was graphic. And she took care of him and ended up until the EMTs showed up and pronounced him, you know, to try to do what she could.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she work on the little boy a little?

MILLS: She did. Yes. And she told me she was working on him with I don't know how ever many people, but it was her and working on this kid. It affected her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did she pronounce him dead?

MILLS: She did. That's what she told me is that she handed it off to the EMT. She had pronounced him and said hey this, you know, he's dead. She told me that she thought he was African-American just because of all the soot and all the debris and stuff that was around. She didn't - I mean she didn't know. She was just working on him and then she --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She didn't recognize the kid?

MILLS: She didn't recognize him until she saw the pictures this morning. It was - and you could see, she just got quiet and you could see the tears welling up and every -- the emotion coming back from yesterday. So it's been - it's been eventful. So I took the day off so I could be here in case she needs me.


BROWN: Tough to hear.

And, Suzanne, we are just getting some new information as far as the investigation goes. A source on the scene where the explosions happened tells CNN that right now authorities are looking at the air exchanges of buildings in the vicinity of the attack. That's the vents and the air pipes they're looking into to see what kind of materials from the bombs may have gone in there. Authorities telling us that the investigation will likely go on all week. That you can expect authorities to be here on the streets in the vicinity of the attacks throughout the week.

MALVEAUX: And, Pam, I understand, of course, her husband said that he was taking the day off. I understand that the doctor is working today at Children's Hospital, that she is basically in there still just trying her best.

BROWN: You can imagine how incredibly difficult that must be to go to work after going through something like that. This is something that rocked her to the core, yet she still has to go to work, like so many other people who were at the race yesterday who treated victims there.

MALVEAUX: All right. Pam, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

That's it for us.

HOLMES: Yes, we've got to go. I just want to point out that we're just hearing from Susan Candiotti that the second device, according to her sources, appears to be similar to the first one she was telling us before which was in the pressure cooker. We'll hear more about that, I'm sure, in the next hour.

MALVEAUX: All right. CNN's special coverage of the Boston bombings continues with Chris Cuomo and Erin Burnett right after this quick break.