Return to Transcripts main page


Bomb Fragment Photos From Boston Marathon

Aired April 17, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We're getting our first look right now at pictures of a partially exploded device. This could provide new clues for investigators in the Boston marathon bombings.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We'll talk about that this morning. Also, of course, prayers. Prayers for the family of this eight-year-old boy killed in the marathon terror attack. His mother and his younger sister suffering serious injuries. Some 2,000 people turning out last night for a candlelight vigil.

BERMAN: And united we all stand. New York and Boston, from a moment of silence to a moment of song. Yankee fans reach across the rivalry to honor the marathon victims and the city of Boston. Such a lovely tribute.


BERMAN (on-camera): Welcome back to this special edition of EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

Baldwin (on-camera): Good morning. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Here we are live in Boston yards from where those two explosions happened. And, we want to begin with that investigation and what we know and some of these new pictures.

New developments this morning as investigators are now hoping that these just-released pictures of this explosive device will lead to a crucial break or possibly as they're hoping an arrest here. These are the photos. They're just released showing the remains of one of the detonated devices. And as you look at them, and clearly, they're badly, badly mangled from the explosion. You can see wires, and a battery, bits of what appears to be a circuit board.

Reuters is reporting that a government official who did not want to be identified shared the photos along with images of a mangled pressure cooker, just the kind of pressure cooker you could have in your own kitchen.

And, in one of those photos, you can see what appears to be a cluster of these teeny tiny but very dangerous BBs that were clearly blown out from this pressure cooker, and, you know, made their way inside the skin and muscle of a lot of victims along the finish line here in Boston on Monday. The FBI now saying that the second bomb was also in some type of metal container as well. BERMAN: Also new this morning, Boston area hospitals have released at least 100 of the 183 people injured in Monday's attack. That's a wonderful news.

BALDWIN: Wonderful news.

BERMAN: We are also learning more this morning about the third person killed. A Chinese graduate student who was studying at Boston University, one of the wonderful colleges around here. We are respecting her family's wishes. We're not releasing her name at this time, but this really does show you the international scope of this tragedy.

We want to get the latest on the investigation that's been going on all night for the last two nights. We're joined right now by national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, right here in Boston. Good morning, Susan. What are you learning this morning?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Brooke. Well, because we're able to see these photographs, we're now seeing what FBI analysts and bomb technicians have been gathering as they crossed over a very huge blast field. Some of this debris even landing on rooftops. So, now, we get a close-up look at some of the shrapnel and the scraps of metal that made up these homemade bombs.

Again, authorities believe that at least one of them was constructed from a regular pressure cooker that you could cook in and the other might be the very same thing. We are seeing the twisted pieces of metal, and we are also seeing the container in which they were. They put these into either a nylon backpack or some kind of a bag, so they have a photograph of that, too.

And this is what they found, part of the aftermath. As well, we are seeing down to the detail of the manufacturer's serial numbers, and this, of course, will help as agents try to reconstruct this bomb at their lab in Quantico, Virginia and also trace each and every item to try to track who purchased these things, where, and when. Authorities really need the public's help to try to solve this.


RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We're asking anyone who may have heard someone speak about the marathon in any way that indicated that he or she may target the event to call us. Someone knows who did this.


CANDIOTTI: So, even though they have more than 2,000 tips so far, they still don't have a clue as to who is behind this terrible terrorist attack -- Brooke and John.

BERMAN: All right. Susan Candiotti right here in Boston, thanks to you again. The detail from those photos so specific.

BALDWIN: So specific, the details on the pressure cooker, obviously, they're trying to figure out who made the pressure cooker and then trace back who in the world could have brought this and done this.

Let's talk more about this with Robert McFadden. He is the senior vice president of the strategic security firm, The Soufan Group, and a former senior NCIS official. And Robert, thanks for joining us this morning. We're all looking at these pictures for the first time this morning of this mangled metal, the BBs, the nails. You say this device appears simple. Why?

ROBERT MCFADDEN, FORMER SENIOR NCIS OFFICIAL: Yes, good morning. Well, the way to build the component like this, to build an improvised explosive device such as this, the information is readily available in open sources, from books, and the internet, of course.

I think instead of crude that simple is the best adjective to apply here because it's easy to put together, easy to practice detonating a device like this on the lead up to actually placing it where the terrorists would and really quite deadly effective.

BERMAN: One of the things we've been talking about in the last day and a half in this is how law enforcement officials will be looking for a bomb-making signature. Some sign that shows what type of person put it together, where they may have received their instructions. Based on what you know, as you're looking at these pictures, are these the types of things that give you a sense of that signature?

MCFADDEN: Absolutely. Really quite reminiscent of some major cases I've worked on while with NCIS. Using a device like this, often almost always there are components left behind.

The crime scene processing and forensic technicians making the initial assessment and even chemical tests, that's being matched up right now at the national center known as TDAC at Quantico, Virginia where such things is, for example, it will be confirmed whether the device deflagrated which would indicate a lower order with explosive or if detonated which would indicate a higher explosive. All of these items talk about here produce leads for investigators to run down.

BALDWIN: You know, Robert, John and I were talking in the commercial break, remembering back to the Olympic Park bombings in 1996, and the process that those investigators went through, you know, finding the nails that were shot out of the bomb, tracing the nails back to the manufacturer and ultimately finding amazingly Eric Rudolph.

In this case, can you just walk us through the process that these investigators will be going through in terms of looking very closely at these little BB-like metal objects and the pressure cooker itself?

MCFADDEN: Right. The tremendous amount of material would be found and is still being recovered, I'm sure, at the crime scene in Boston. Those items will go to the analytical sale (ph) at the national center at the lab in Quantico. And the attempt now is to match up anything recently or even longer history of devices of similar components and competition.

Also, too, some of the items left behind such as BBs or small nails or other components that would have been inside the pressurized device just represents the secondary fragmentation element. That may also match up with other components or other IEDs in the past that would tend to indicate that -- that a group or individuals behind this.

However -- however, there's such a broad spectrum of different individuals and groups that use this kind of simple device that could be quite some time for detective work in that regard.

BALDWIN: What a tedious but necessary process to try to figure out who did this and then the next, you know, question why. Robert McFadden with us this morning. Robert, thank you very much.

MCFADDEN: Thank you.

BERMAN: So interesting, and those pictures so revealing, and again, brand new to us this morning. We are all taking a very close look at that.


BERMAN: Also new, President Obama, we've learned, will travel to Boston tomorrow. He will attend an interfaith service for the victims of the marathon bombings and their families. For more now on the president's plans and his visit to Massachusetts, let's go to the White House and our White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John and Brooke. President Obama, we learned yesterday, will travel to Boston tomorrow for this interfaith memorial service dedicated to those who were injured or killed in the Boston bombings. This will be at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross there in Boston. And President Obama, no doubt, preparing for what will be a very emotional event.

He'll be striking a tone as consoler and chief, something that we've really already seen here at the White House. We heard him yesterday talking about people who ran the marathon in Boston, and yet, after the bombings still went to hospitals to give blood. So, he'll certainly be talking about this tragedy but he'll also be talking about how this sort of has brought out the best in some of the folks there in Boston as they respond to this.

Of course, he's also the commander in chief, and that means that the investigation of the Boston bombings stops with him. He addressed that yesterday as he also called this for the first time, terrorism.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. What we don't yet know, however, is who carried out this attack or why. Whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent (ph) individual.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: Now, that -- calling it an act of terror was something we didn't hear from President Obama on Monday just a few hours after the events in Boston. So, the White House wanting to make sure President Obama, even though his aides had already been on the record saying it was terrorism, the White House wanting to make sure, of course, that the president is on the record with that and responding appropriately.

A lesson that they've learned certainly during past attacks, most recently in Benghazi when President Obama was criticized for sort of having a muted message about whether this was terrorism or not -- John and Brooke.

BERMAN: His message certainly quite clear right now. Brianna Keilar at the White House, thanks so much for being with us.

BALDWIN: And just again, to underscore one of the points she made that the people ran 26.2 miles, some of them and just kept going to give blood --

BERMAN: They did. In some cases, I talked to a man yesterday. He crossed the finish line and then walked back to help treat some of the victims who were right there on the ground. Amazing acts of courage in the city.

BALDWIN: In terms of the investigation, the FBI leading that investigation. They're, of course, appealing to the public for help to solve the Boston marathon bombing. The agent in charge of the investigation saying someone knows, someone out there knows who did this, who committed this crime. And there is now a $50,000 reward put out by police and fire unions here in Boston.

And later this morning, we want you to stick around, because in the eight o'clock hour of "Starting Point," we will talk about that reward with the president of the Boston Firefighters Union. That's coming up.

BERMAN: It is interesting. That's out there right now.

Rivalry interrupted. This happened at Yankees Stadium last night. The home team, Yankees, offered a moment of silent prayer for Boston, specifically, those killed and wounded in the marathon tragedy. And then, from the moment of silence to a moment of song. The Yankees played "Sweet Caroline" which is a signature tune up here at Fenway Park for Red Sox games.

They play it in the bottom of the eighth, done it for years. And those Yankee fans normally no love for the Red Sox, the Yankees fans, they sang along. Now, this touched the man who wrote the song, Neil Diamond. The singer thanked the Yankees in a tweet. He said, "You scored a homerun in my heart." That's from Neil Diamond. You know what, it scored a homerun in all of our hearts.

BALDWIN: Yes. A lot of goosebumps and teary eyes from Red Sox fans, I know, in that stadium in the Bronx and I'm sure around the country here. Special moment, for sure. Coming up next on EARLY START, new details this morning about the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. And we're also learning a bit more about how those deadly explosives were made.

BERMAN: And the funeral procession for former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher is now underway in London. We're going to take you there live. Stay with us.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to EARLY START. These are live pictures that you're looking at right there. Queen Elizabeth arriving for the funeral services for former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. That is getting underway soon at London St. Paul's Cathedral. The queen, as you see, arriving right now, greeting people along the way.

CNNs Becky Anderson is right -- is live right outside St. Paul's Cathedral. And as I read this morning, Queen Elizabeth, this is the first time that she has attended a funeral of a British prime minister since 1965 and that was Winston Churchill. Is that right?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is correct. This is a ceremonial funeral. Lady Thatcher won't lie in state. It's about as big as it gets. There are 2,000 attendees now at St. Paul's Cathedral. They will all be standing as the queen and Prince Phillip, the duke of Edinburgh, walk into St. Paul's. And it really is quite a remarkable thing. It's something that Margaret Thatcher asked for.

Perhaps, many of the British public surprised that the queen had accepted this invitation. There are no other members of the royal family in attendance. There are, though, 2,000 of the great and the good of the era of Margaret Thatcher, former prime ministers and presidents from around the world, her entire cabinet, as it was back in the 1980s, former presidents and prime ministers of Britain.

Tony Blair is there. Gordon Brown is there. John Major who followed Margaret Thatcher in 1990. And these, the pictures of her coffin being drawn by the carriage of the kings troop royal horse artillery. They are moving towards St. Paul's Cathedral. The bearer party walking alongside the carriage, four on each side. As that funeral procession makes its way to St. Paul's cathedral, led by the band of the HM Royal Marines from Portsmouth.

And as they approached St. Paul's Cathedral, you'll see positioned on the west steps, a step-ling party made up of 18 tri-service personnel, and 16 in pension (ph) as the Royal Hospital Chelsea men that you will recognize if you've been to London in their red finery. So, the queen now making her way down to the front of St. Paul's Cathedral. And in a few moments, at 11 o'clock London time, this funeral for Baroness Thatcher will begin.

SAMBOLIN: Becky Anderson live for us, really appreciate it. We'll continue to check back in with you.

It is 49 minutes past the hour. Early tests show a letter sent to a Republican senator from Mississippi did contain a lethal biological agent, but more tests will be done today to confirm that it was, indeed, ricin. The letter was addressed to Senator Roger Wicker, but it was intercepted before it actually reached his office. Authorities say it had a Memphis postmark, but they do not know who sent it.

And senators begin voting this afternoon on amendments to a gun control bill. Majority leader, Harry Reid, says the bipartisan deal on expanded background checks will be among the first votes. Along with the proposal, the banned sales of military-style assault weapon. A debate could last for two weeks, perhaps, even more time.

And happening right now, we're looking at an increasing threat of tornadoes today. Let's check in with Jennifer Delgado. She's live at the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. Who is in the danger zone?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Zoraida. We are talking about the Midwest as well as the central plains, especially anywhere you're seeing in the red graphic, and that includes areas like Joplin, Springfield, Oklahoma City, as well as into Stulsa. Now, the threat for hail is going to last all day long, but we're also talking about a tornado threat popping especially in the afternoon as well as into the evening.

We're already looking at storms right now moving through areas. You can see from Colorado all the way over to parts of West Virginia as well as into Tennessee. Now, today, the fuel is going to be the clash of the two air masses. The warm, moist air from the south, and the cold air from the north, and that's why the region that we're talking about right across Oklahoma, Texas, as well as into parts of Missouri and Kansas.

This is going to be the area for the strongest storms. This is the area for the moderate risk as where (ph) what you're seeing in yellow, we are talking about a slight risk, and this gives you an idea of what the problems going to be. Look at the temperature gradient there, 62 for a high today in Kansas City and 36 in Denver and the 80s down towards the south. Zoraida, that is going to be the fuel for these strong storms. Everybody needs to be cautious out there.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you for that. Appreciate it.

And still ahead, we'll go back to Boston. Brand new pictures released overnight giving us a different look at the aftermath of the marathon bombing.


BERMAN: Welcome back to this special edition of EARLY START. In addition to the new bomb device photos we've been showing you all morning, we're also getting a first look at some high definition images from the carnage at the marathon finish line. These are brand new pictures we're just getting in.

BALDWIN: Yes. We know law enforcement, they're going to be going through -- frame by frame by frame looking at these people. Clearly, you can see the smoke, mass confusion, and absolute terror that rained immediately after those deadly explosions at that finish line there. And you can see the streets. And let's just say still what are we two days later, still, littered with debris.

They're going to be coming through all of that looking for clues and also asking for the public's health. But I want to share something else with you here, because this is the picture of terror. This is the cover of "Time" magazine's special issue on the Boston marathon bombings. Look at this.

A little boy, you could see the left side of his head just in case in (ph) in blood being carried by one of the officers here. This is just after those blasts on Monday. This is a tablet only edition on the tragedy that hit here in Boston. It is free. It will be available tomorrow. And I know as a dad with two little boys, it's -- for any of us, really, it's just tough to look at.

BERMAN: What an image. And we know that among those injured here were kids as young as two or three years old. And the victim, Martin Richard, just eight years old.

BALDWIN: You shake your head. There are no words.

BERMAN: Shake my head.

BALDWIN: No words.

BERMAN: Coming up next hour, Bostonians coming together, really the whole world coming together. Last night, thousands turning out for a candlelight vigil to remember that eight-year-old boy, Martin Richard. He touched so many lives.

BALDWIN: Also, new photos this morning of the bombs, the mangled metal here that caused so much pain, so much suffering. Can they lead the FBI to whomever planted them? Answering the questions who and why. The latest on the investigation at the top of the hour. Stay right here.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Good morning. We're getting our first look at the mangled remains of a device that literally blew up the Boston marathon. Images we hope that could help investigators determine who is behind the deadly terror attack.

BERMAN (voice-over): And then gone too soon. A mother simply heartbroken over the loss of her daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a wonderful person. Everybody that knew her loved her.

BERMAN: Patty Campbell was originally told by the hospital that her daughter, Krystle, has survived the bombing.