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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Investigating the Bombings in Boston; Three Killed, Over 140 Injured; FBI Taking Lead in Investigation; North Korea Now Saying No Warning Before Attack on South Korea

Aired April 16, 2013 - 04:00   ET

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


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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely devices here. I need officers. Definitely devices here.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): An act of terror at a uniquely American event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boom. And then another one. Boom. And then another one. Boom. It's like one after the other. It was just one big cloud of smoke. This is really, really bad.

BERMAN: The city of Boston bloodied but not broken after two bomb blasts at the finish line of the iconic marathon. The attackers taking lives and limbs but not the will of a city or a nation.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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. Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city, and as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

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BERMAN (on-camera): Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this special edition of EARLY START. I'm John Berman in Boston.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Brooke Baldwin in New York. It is 4:00 a.m. on the East Coast.

BERMAN: Downtown Boston, this beautiful city, is a crime scene this morning after a terror attack in the shadow of the finish line for the Boston Marathon, normally such a joyous event that brings the city together.

This is what we know at the moment: At least three people are dead this morning including an 8-year-old boy, "The Boston Globe" identifying that boy as Martin Richard of Dorchester, Massachusetts. 144 people wounded in these two explosions, 17 of these people are said to be right now in critical condition. The FBI is leading the investigation right now. There's no known motive and no one is in custody, but authorities are said to be pursuing several active leads at this moment. Overnight they executed a search warrant at an apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, which is actually about 5 miles north of Boston. Police are not saying whether any arrests were made.

Two coordinated explosions. The first happened at 2:50 p.m., well after the elite the runners had finished the race, some two hours after the elite runners had finished the race. The second explosion coming just 12 seconds later. This is what it looked and sounded like.

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(SCREAMING)

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BERMAN: That scene, you can see it, just chaos, confusion. Police scrambled to respond.

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OFFICER: Get all units in this city to this scene now please.

OFFICER: I have multiple people down here, OK. I don't know what the cause is. Stand by.

DISPATCHER: OK, all available officers --

OFFICER: Tango Niner One, we have another unattended backpack at Boylston (INAUDIBLE). We need to set up a perimeter her and get people away from it.

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BERMAN: And some of those people who witnessed the carnage, and I have talked to many of them, they have tried to help.

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CARLOS ARREDONDO, WITNESSED EXPLOSION: This big explosion took place in front of me and then I saw this big cloud of smoke and my first instinct was to just run across the street and start helping out the people.

REPORTER: Your sleeve there, is that blood on the sleeve?

ARREDONDO: My pants, my clothes.

REPORTER: Show me that flag.

ARREDONDO: The flag, that was the flag I was holding the whole time.

(END VIDEO CLIIP) BERMAN: Let's go now to Poppy Harlow. She is live at Brigham & Women's Hospital, where a number of people, dozens of victims, are being treated at this moment. Two of them are in critical condition.

Good morning, Poppy. What's the latest?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Well, the number, the tally of those injured in this tragedy is at its highest number since this occurred, 144. That is the count of those injured. Three fatalities that we know of thus far. Thirty-one, the most of those injured, are right behind me at Brigham & Women's Hospital. Seventeen of the total injured are in critical condition, at least 17. Twenty-five are considered in serious condition.

We know that at least eight of the injured, John, eight of them are children. We can also tell you that, at this point, ten people that suffered so much in this attack had limbs amputated through all of this. One person that witnessed it, that was literally between the two bombs, described it to me like a war zone. He said, "I picture things like this, I hear about it happening in Iraq or in Israel, not in America." He talked about running away from it.

And in terms of those that were injured in this, we know that they varied widely in age, from 2 years old, the youngest victim we believe at this point, 2 years old up, into their 40s and some even in their early 70s. In terms of the injuries that they have sustained, doctors are telling us mainly that their lower extremities where they have really suffered the most pain.

Two hospitals, the one behind me, and Massachusetts General, held press conferences late last night. Their trauma surgeons, heads of surgery, speaking to the press about what they had seen. I want you to listen to sound from both of those.

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DR. RON WALLS, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: The worst injuries have been injuries to the legs. There have been a lot damage, there's a lot of blast effect from these types of explosions, so a lot of injury to the muscle, the skin, the bones are broken, those sorts of injuries.

DR. PETER FAGENHOLZ, TRAUAM SURGEON, MASS. GENERAL: A number of patients will require repeat operations tomorrow and serial operations over the next couple of days. So as I mentioned, a lot of the injuries are combined. They're combined bony and soft tissue and vascular injuries, and they have to be approached oftentimes in kind of a step-wise fashion.

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HARLOW: And a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General telling us in that press conference that there will be some repeat operations. Some of those injured will have to come back again and again for multiple surgeries. Asked if he had ever seen anything like this, he said he has seen somewhat similar injuries but he said, quote, he has seen this volume, this quantity, come into his emergency room, John.

BERMAN: And Poppy, as you said, a number of the injured are children. And it's tragically no surprise because what you do on Marathon Monday in Boston is go watch the race with your kids, with the entire family. And now we do know the identity of the 8-year-old boy who was killed. What have you learned about him?

HARLOW: We do. "The Boston Globe" is reporting this hour that the name of that 8-year-old boy who lost his life right around 2:50 p.m. yesterday afternoon is a young boy from Dorchester, Massachusetts. His name according to the paper is Martin Richard.

"The Boston Globe" is reporting that late last night community members gathered at a local restaurant there in Dorchester to remember him. They're also reporting that it is not only that 8-year-old life that was lost, but also his mother and his sister were severely injured. That is what the paper is reporting. They're saying the father's name is Bill, that he is a community leader there, that the entire community has come to rally around them to support them.

And I just want to read you a quote, John, from the paper. This comes from one of the other leaders in the community talking about the boy and that family, the Richard family, saying, quote, "They are beloved by this community. It is surreal. It is tragic."

And it is tragic beyond words. John?

BERMAN: You know, it certainly is, Poppy Harlow. Dorchester is a close-knit community and there is a great deal of concern right now for that entire family. Poppy Harlow at Brigham & Women's hospital. Our thanks to you this morning. We'll talk to you again in a little bit.

As we mentioned, the FBI is in charge of this investigation right now, and the agency has its marching orders. President Obama promising the nation we will get to the bottom of this. Susan Candiotti this morning on the first steps that are already underway in this growing, very large investigation. Good morning, Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Yes, there are a lot of active leads to follow up on, many, many witnesses to talk with. Remember, they've got all kinds of surveillance video that they've collected from buildings right around where those explosions went off that they will be closely examining for any clues, not to mention cell phone videos that they are surely collecting from all kinds of people who were taking videos, not only after the incident occurred but, of course, might have had photographs or videos before the explosions and the blasts went off, because they'll be looking for any clues, any suspicious activity leading up to that.

And of course they are examining not only the exploded devices but also the unexploded devices to try to learn more information about this. This investigation is being led by the FBI working with the Boston Police Department. Of course, help from other agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. This is what they said during their latest press conference last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: This will be a combined federal, state, and local effort. It will be an ongoing investigation. It is a criminal investigation that is -- has the potential -- is a potential terrorist investigation.

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CANDIOTTI: Now what we're also hearing is that there is what's called a BOLO, a Be On the Lookout. This was provided from law enforcement agencies, a law enforcement bulletin given to other investigators and all police in that area to be on the lookout for what they're describing as someone who is a dark-skinned or black male with possibly a foreign accent. Remember, they are saying they have no suspects in custody at this time. And also they are saying this person might have been carrying a black backpack and wearing a sweatshirt and may have been trying to get into the restricted area around where the blast went off before the explosion happened.

Now, doctors are also, according to our sources and information learned by my colleague Deb Feyerick, were removing ball bearings from some of the people being treated, the victims at one of the local hospitals there. This could indicate more information about what those bombing devices, the explosive devices, were made of. They're being described by other sources as crude and sometimes small. There were said to be at least two unexploded devices. And my sources are telling me that, of course, one of the things they're doing, John, is to pick those apart looking for information that would in fact be signatures or fingerprints or any DNA evidence or the way they were constructed that might give them clues who put this together.

As of now, no one is making any claim that we are aware of, claiming responsibility for these blasts as well. John.

BERMAN: All right, Susan Candiotti. Our thanks to you. As you said, those unexploded bombs, there could be several of them. They could be a treasure trove of information for investigators. Susan Candiotti, thanks to you.

And also it is very much a crime scene, I should tell you, in Boston this morning. A large swath of the street, Boylston Street, about two blocks that way behind me where the bombings took place, we are expecting that to be closed this morning. It's normally a very public area; it will be largely empty so that the police, the FBI can continue to do their work.

These Boston bombings, they are the dominant story not just here but all around the world. They've been that way since the event happened more than 14 hours ago. This event really draws people from all around the globe. Let's take a look at some of the front pages, what they're saying this morning.

"The Washington Post" has a bold headline, it says, "An act of terror." "The L.A. Times" says "Marathon blasts throw Boston into chaos." "The Houston Chronicle" talking about a father and daughter who ran the race says, "Seconds may have saved family." And "The Telegraph" in London says, "The clock showed 4:09:44, then the shock wave hit." London of course has a marathon this weekend. Police are taking another look at their security plan right now to see if they need to make any other changes before that race begins.

You're going to want to stay with CNN throughout the entire morning for the most comprehensive coverage of this terror attack at the Boston Marathon. We will bring it to you and all the developments as they come in.

Ahead this hour, the FBI taking the lead in this investigation, raising its mobilization effort to Level 1. We'll tell you what that means. Plus, the latest on the search for suspects. Major U.S. cities like Miami, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles all on heightened alert this morning. How the attack in Boston could impact your town today. A lot of concern all around the country.

And what about America's psyche? How tough will it be for the country to bounce back after these Boston bombings? Stay with us.

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BERMAN: All right, welcome back to a special edition of EARLY START. You know, it will be anything but business as usual today in Boston. This city, you know, as we were driving around last night and this morning, the taxi drivers were saying it was a ghost town. Normally after the marathon you'd see people on the streets celebrating. Not so right now. Everyone quiet at home spending time with their families.

Of course the runners, they can't celebrate because of the disaster that happened. The runners who didn't finish the race, frustrated but of course so grateful they're doing OK. And then all the people hurt and wounded.

As we said, a big area behind me, the crime scene, shut down today so police can investigate. Here's what we know -- at least three people killed, including a young boy. He's been identified by "The Boston Globe" as 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, Massachusetts. 144 people were wounded, 17 critical, in the two bomb blasts. They were just 12 seconds apart right near the finish line yesterday. Police are going to beef up security around the city today.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility. Right now authorities have no motive, no suspects, they say. The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation. They're calling it a Level 1 mobilization. In other words, it really is all hands on deck this morning.

Joining us now to talk about this is Juliette Kayyem. She is a CNN contributor, a "Boston Globe" columnist. She has a rich, rich history in homeland security and counterterrorism. You now, based on what you're seeing this morning, give me a sense of what's going on right now?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, really the FBI is the lead. And so what they're doing is they're merging all of the information that the local and state investigators would have right now with the public information. Because all the cameras are going to sort of disclose who might have been there. They're running that through both domestic intelligence sources in D.C. and some of the agencies that work that, as well as international, because right now we have no idea is this -- does this have foreign sort of threat and foreign terrorist organization ties? Or is it domestic and home grown? And we're not going to know that until more information comes out.

So right now we went from response, recovery, to investigation very, very quickly.

BERMAN: Let's stick with the investigation for a moment, because one of the big advantages it seems they have here, cameras everywhere, particularly right at the finish line. That's number one. Number two, possibly several unexploded bombs. Those seem to be a great place to start the investigation.

KAYYEM: Yes, so there's some -- we're not quite sure how many unexploded there were because the Boston police sort of kept that quiet yesterday. I think the numbers that got up to five or six are probably not true.

BERMAN: Even if there's one.

KAYYEM: That is true. With the fingerprints. But even the detonated devices, the ones that did it explode, are going to have possibly fingerprints, trace materials. So there's going to be -- that's going to be the forensic side. And then there will be the eyewitness and camera side of it. So there's going to be a rich amount of material that's now just being processed.

An investigation this big, this fast, it's really a management issue at this stage. It's not like there's a dearth of information. They need to pull it all together and see where the pieces lead them to.

BERMAN: You worked in homeland security in Washington. But in this case, more interestingly, you worked at homeland security here in Boston, as an adviser to Governor Deval Patrick. The response yesterday, a lot of people are noting, it was extraordinary. There were hundreds of thousands of people involved watching the marathon, you know, 20,000 people running the race.

KAYYEM: Right.

BERMAN: Yet when there was this disaster right in the middle of the race, things seemed to work so smoothly. Is there a plan for just this type of event?

KAYYEM: Yes. There was a plan for an emergency. The whole point of the planning and the training, it goes on four or six months before the marathon starts, it's to align everyone with common missions if something were to happen, whether it was two detonations, five, or one. Two key moves made by responders yesterday: the first was get those runners out of the finish line. So whoever made the determination to pull them over to here, to Commonwealth, that was brilliant. The second is securing the crime scene very, very fast. I mean, we see it here. If you have a lot of people milling around, evidence would be ruined. We wouldn't know what we were looking for.

So those two first moves are sort of the lessons of the training, lessons of post 9/11. I also have to say, you know, Ed Davis, the police commissioner, Governor Patrick, Manino came out -- he was in the hospital, the tone was really important to set the sort of moderate tone of resiliency, of we're not going to panic, we're going to find out who this is, really did calm the city and the nation in a way that I think is beneficial. Because it means we're not terrorized, right? And that's a beneficial thing.

BERMAN: And then one of the remaining questions, the big remaining question a lot of people want to know today, domestic terrorism versus foreign terrorism.

KAYYEM: Right. You know, it's so hard to answer right now because everything is in different directions. It was probably an unsophisticated device which makes you think homegrown. On the other hand, we know foreign terrorists have used unsophisticated devices.

There's a couple things to look for. First, no one has said they've did it, right? So there's no attribution yet. That tends to make me think it might be criminal, domestic criminal. And there's been some rumors about investigations into local homes.

I tend to be a person we need to wait and see. Because right now really it is giving the investigators the space to figure out what's right and where they want to lead it. If we go too fast down one way or the other, then it leads people astray. Everyone in my field remembers Oklahoma City, right? That it was four guys dressed in Arab garb that led everyone one way. Meanwhile, if Tim McVeigh hadn't been stopped by a police officer, he would have gotten away.

BERMAN: It does seem everyone's trying to proceed with caution, not get too far out in front of things.

KAYYEM: Exactly.

BERMAN: All right, Juliette Kayyem, thank you for being with us this morning. Stay with us.

KAYYEM: Thank you. I will.

BERMAN: There's a lot to talk about here.

Coming up, we could have a vote in the Senate this week on gun control legislation. There is other news in the world. But that measure could face another potential roadblock. We're going to have the details.

We will also, of course, have the very latest on the deadly bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon. We're live at the scene. Stay with us.

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BERMAN: I want to go back to Brooke Baldwin in New York for a look at the other stories today. Before I say that, Brooke, you were just here over the weekend. And we were just talking about what a special event Patriots Day is in Boston and the Boston Marathon, of course. What a shame that such a wonderful day like that was ruined with something as horrible as this.

BALDWIN: Such a shame. I was just inside the Boston Public Library and saw all the stairs ready as preparations were underway and excitement was in the air with all the marathoners in town. It is absolutely tragic.

John Berman, we'll come back to you here momentarily but I want to just get you some news on North Korea. Its leaders are turning up the rhetoric just a notch this morning. They are now saying they won't give any warning at all before attacking South Korea. They say they are responding to an anti-North Korea rally in Seoul. South Korean leaders say the North's latest threats are regrettable.

Also in South Korea this morning, a U.S. Marine helicopter taking part in annual military exercises made a hard landing near the border with the North. There were some injuries, but the military says all the Marines will be OK.

Also out of Washington, four Republican senators who thought about supporting a compromise on gun control now say they will vote against it. The so called Toomey-Manchin Bill would expand background checks to gun shows and online sales. Senators Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Jeff Flake of Arizona now saying the measure goes too far. The Senate could vote on it a little later this week.

And minding your business this morning, reaction on Wall Street. Look at the stocks. They did take quite a tumble yesterday with the Dow plunging 266 points, nearly 2 percent. It was the worst day of the year. Alison Kosik is in for Christine this morning. And your point is it's perspective. Worst day of the year? It's been a pretty solid year.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's been a solid year. So when you see a selloff like this, it can be big. You look at how stocks are doing so far, Dow's up anywhere from 11 to 13 percent. Same with the S&P 500.

You look at the day yesterday, how the day transpired. Stocks were already lower before the opening bell, before the bombing in Boston. It was on some bad news out of China showing that growth there slowed on some bad or weaker economic data, on home builder confidence. A regional (ph) manufacturing index was weak.

But then you saw the selloff accelerate. You see that sort of later in the day because the bombing hurt confidence, but it was a slow, steady decline. It was more of an orderly sellofff. There wasn't this panic; volatility didn't spike. You didn't see a sharp drop when the news reports started coming out at 3:00.

So, yes, it shows that reaction to the terrorist attack or these kinds of attacks are more emotional than fact-based. Especially look at how many points were because of what happened in Boston; about 120 points of that 266 happened right after those explosions were reported, but you didn't see panic. And the good news at least for the markets is you're seeing stock futures up this morning; you're seeing recovery in commodities as well.

BALDWIN: OK, Alison Kosik, thank you so much. Stay, of course, right here. We're going to get you the very latest out of Boston. John Berman knows Boston very well; grew up there, went to school there. He is on the scene.

As we now are reporting this morning, there are three dead, more than 140 injured. The FBI leading in the investigation along with Boston police, ATF involved. We're going to get to the latest here on a search for possible suspects this morning.

Twenty-six minutes past the hour. Special edition of CNN EARLY START.

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