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Up to Five Suspicious Devises Found at New Jersey Train Station; ISIS Claiming Responsibility for Multiple Stabbing Attack at Minnesota Mall; President Obama Suggests Sexism is Hurting Hillary Clinton's Bid for White House; Big Winners Announced at 68th Emmy Awards Last Night; Ceasefire in Syria More Fragile Than Ever. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired September 19, 2016 - 04:00   ET



(VOICE-OVER): This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, "EARLY START" CO-ANCHOR: All right, breaking overnight. Authorities find up to five suspicious devices, could be pipe bombs at a train station in New Jersey. They blew up at least one of them. Officials are on the scene right now. We have the very latest.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, "EARLY START" CO-ANCHOR: And new developments in the investigation into the New York City bombings. The FBI now examining surveillance video showing a man planting two bombs. Authorities hoping the video could lead to their suspect.

BERMAN: Plus, new details into the two other attacks over the weekend. Investigators, they find strong similarities between the bombs used in explosions in New York and New Jersey, and ISIS is claiming responsibility for a stabbing spree in Minnesota. We have it all covered for you this morning. A lot going on. Good morning everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: Good morning. I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, September 19th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the east. Let's begin with these new developments overnight.

Breaking overnight. New terror fears. Up to five devices, apparently pipe bombs found in a trash can right next to a train track in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The bomb squad is on the scene there, detonating one device already. This, of course, is in the wake of an explosion Saturday night right here in New York City.

The latest incident in New Jersey could create mayhem for the morning commute in the northeast. Officials have shutdown Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains through Elizabeth Station as a precaution while police and the FBI investigate. CNN's Rachel Crane is live in Elizabeth with the latest.

And Rachel, we know one device has been detonated, I guess, inadvertently by a robot. What else do we know?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, the FBI, local authorities as well as the bomb squad responding to that backpack that the Mayor tells us could have up to five devices on it. Now, one of those devices was unintentionally detonated when the bomb squad was using a robot. That robot cut one of those wires. Take a listen to what the Mayor had to say.


CHRIS BOLLWAGE, ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY MAYOR: The robots that were going in to disarm it, cut a wire and it exploded. I don't know the technological aspect of that. I know there are other devices. I don't know what they are made up of, but they are going to have to be removed, and all of the fragments from the other pieces are going to have to be tried to be picked up so the FBI can investigate this fully.


CRANE: Now, Christine, the Mayor went on to tell us that there was no timer or cell phone connected to those devices in the backpack. I also just happened to be on my cell phone with the Mayor at the time of that detonation, and I could hear the boom of that detonation through the phone.

Now, this all began when two individuals spotted a backpack in a trash can right near the train tracks behind me at Elizabeth Station. Now, they were looking for what they felt would be something valuable in that backpack. They instead found wires and what they said looks like a pipe. That is when they dropped the backpack and run around the corner to a police station and alerted the authorities.

The authorities responded. That's when they called in the FBI, the bomb squad. Now they secured the surrounding area, the streets are closed off all around me. They also did a sweep of that surrounding area. They did not find any other suspicious devices.

Now, the Northeast Corridor has been shut down between Newark's Liberty International Airport and here in Elizabeth. The Northeast Corridor, of course, carries over 750,000 people a day. We're approaching the morning rush here on Monday, unclear when that service will be restored.

Now, also, it is important to point out that while there have been now two detonations in the State of New Jersey, there has not been a connection between these incidents. Christine?

ROMANS: What can you tell us about what police are doing? Are they -- are they sweeping trestles and bridges and railroad tracks? Are they trying to find other devices here, have they found anything?

CRANE: Well, the Mayor told us that right now the bomb squad is working on encasing those devices where then they will be ultimately transported to Quantico where the FBI will continue their investigation. But behind us still heavy police movement. There is a fire truck that just pulled around the corner. So, they are still securing the area. They did tell us though, that the sweeps of the surrounding area had not brought up any of the suspicious packages and they had included that. Christine?


ROMANS: OK. Rachel Crane, thank you so much. And again, we are going to keep everyone posted on when we will have restored transit in the area. Again, it is going to be kind of a messy commute this morning.


BERMAN: ... open the northeast ...


ROMANS: Oh, yeah.

[04:05:00] BERMAN: Also breaking overnight, police and FBI conducted a traffic stop of what they are calling a vehicle of interest in the Manhattan bombing. This, as new surveillance video appears to show that one man was in two key locations Saturday night. First seen in video near the scene of the blast on 23rd Street before that bomb went off. But again, a few blocks away where a second undetonated bomb was found. With us now, CNN's Jessica Schneider. Lets' start with this vehicle of interest stopped overnight.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER,CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Yes, several developments overnight. So the FBI and the NYPD working overnight, they conducted a stop to what they are calling a vehicle of interest.

More than now, we don't have a lot of details. The stop did happen in Brooklyn. It was a vehicle of interest. However, we are not yet sure how many people were in the vehicle, why exactly this car was being tracked and why it was being stopped.

But of course, other significant developments happening overnight on Sunday as well. Officials tell us that they now have video that shows the same man at both incident locations.

So one man at both West 23rd Street where that explosion happened and also at West 27th Street where the pressure cooker was found.

Now, the video actually shows the man at the location, West 23rd Street at about 7:50 p.m., that's about 40 minutes before that explosion. We understand that in the video at that location, he was dragging a duffel bag with wheels.10 minutes later, at 8 o'clock, that same man is also seen in video at the West 27th Street location with that same duffel bag.

We are told that the video shows the man placing the duffel bag down. That is when two separate men come into that same location and they take out, we're told, what is seen as a white garbage bag. They take that out of the duffel bag. Now, officials believe that that white garbage bag actually contained that pressure cooker. It is unclear as of yet whether or not those two men, how they are connected to that first man that was seen at both locations, whether or not they are connected to this explosion and pressure cook exactly what was happening.

So as they move forward in the investigation, officials will be looking to see if they can put together other video evidence, find other surveillance video from that area and see exactly what that man was doing between 7:50 and 8:30 when the explosion went off and how this might all be connected. But again, those significant developments overnight that they have found that surveillance video that does show the same man in both locations, West 23rd Street and West 27th.

The West 23rd street location where the explosion happened; West 27th, where the pressure cooker was found and now looking to piece together more video evidence at they find it, you know, because that's a very populated area and of course, the NYPD, they have the -- they have surveillance set up throughout the city, you know, any given day and you're captured dozens of times on their camera system. So we'll be looking for that.


BERMAN: Two things. Well obviously, you know, that is one guy in two locations but have two other guys in that second location also that they are definitely investigating those (inaudible) upon. And what about these devices found in New Jersey over the weekend at this road rails? What is the latest thinking on the possible connection with those devices and the New York City ones?

SCHNEIDER: Well, the first thing that we heard was yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the devices that were used in both incidents in New Jersey and New York, they appeared to be similar.

However, we're not exactly sure if these two incidents are connected, of course. On Saturday morning, about 12 hours before the explosion in Manhattan, there was that incident in New Jersey in Seaside Park where there is a Marine Corps Charity run. Three pipe bombs were found, one of them detonated inside a garbage can.

Now, what we're hearing in terms of similarities is that both of these incidents used cell phones as timing devices. But of course, that could be just a result of you can go online, you can find out how to make these things. And that might be a common thread. So, at this point, the cell phone was used as a timing device in both incidents but unclear if these incidents are at all related. Of course, all parts of this massive investigation that is now spanning two states and multiple locations.

BERMAN: And a lot going on overnight. Jessica Schneider, thank you for bringing us the details (ph). I know shortly you are heading out to the location right here in Manhattan. So thanks for that.

ROMANS: Yeah. Seaside Park and now Elizabeth, New Jersey where they found this duffel bag. These two men found a duffel bag in Manhattan this weekend.

And of course, there was another attack this weekend, ISIS now claiming responsibility for a multiple stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall. The attacker knifed nine people before an off-duty police officer shot him to death. Officials say three of those people remain in the hospital, one in life-threatening condition. Right now, the FBI is calling Saturday's attacks a potential act of terrorism. CNN's Nick Valencia has more.

[04:10:00] NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, investigators say that this suspected attacker showed up at the mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota at about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and carried out his rampage. He asked at least one of the victim's whether or not they were Muslims; he also was mentioning "Allah" during his attack.

In all, he stabbed nine people before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer. At a press conference on Sunday, the police, the Mayor and the FBI all highlighted the heroics of this off-duty officer who they say clearly prevented more people from being injured.


MAYOR DAVID KLEIS, ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA: These heroic actions are exemplary. Having witnessed what he did as the suspect was lunging at him with the knife. Not only did he fire, the suspect went down. He came back up on three different occasions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motive so far still remains unclear. However, on Sunday afternoon, the media wing of ISIS and affiliated media outlet called Amaq claimed responsibility for the suspect calling him a soldier of ISIS. CNN has been unable to further authenticate the claim by this web site, but it follows a similar pattern of this group taking responsibility for those who had been inspired by ISIS.

The FBI there in Minnesota is unwilling to further fully call this a terrorist act, saying that they are investigating it as a potential act of terrorism. They are unsure if the suspect had any direct contact with the terror group.


As far as what we know about the suspect, he had had at least three encounters with police in the past, all for minor traffic violations. They are also looking at the car that they found in a parking lot of the suspect which has been impounded. They have executed at least two search warrants in the area for the residents to try to get more details of the individual. John and Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Nick Valencia, thanks so much.

All right, transit delays and crowded roads could be headed for workers coming into Manhattan this morning following the investigations in New York and New Jersey. It is unclear how that may affect investors.

But starting the week with optimism despite the possible terror attack across the US, Dow Futures is climbing probably higher. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are rising oil up as well.

The big score in moving your money this week is the Federal Reserve and its decision on interest rates. Janet Yellen and board members start their two-day policy meetings tomorrow. Yellen will give a news conference as the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday. "Wall Street" of course will be watching closely.

Right now, investors do not think the group will hike its target rate. Only a 12 percent chance of a rate hike this week. That increases slightly to 19 percent for the next meeting, just six days, by the way before the November election.

The money is on December as the next rate hike here, about a 4- to 5- percent chance of an increase after that.

BERMAN: The political watchers say it will be surprising to do anything before the election right now. Because the fed doesn't like to get involved in electropolitics.

So -- all right, 12 minutes after the hour. Speaking of politics, what politicians showed up to the Emmy Awards last night? I have got to say, this was awesome. The cameo, you have to see. We will also tell you, you know, the T.V. shows that won and lost.


BERMAN: Overnight, President Obama suggested that sexism could be hurting Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House. He was speaking in a democratic fundraiser in New York. The President, as you might expect also, would have her Donald Trump calling him unqualified to be president, and calling his campaign a reality show.

Now, Trump was hit by some critics over the weekend for telling supporters at a rally Saturday night that a bomb had gone off in New York. That came less than half an hour after the first report of the explosion and before officials publicly confirmed any details about what caused it.

Hillary Clinton waited a couple hours before speaking to reporters and called the incident a bombing. Let's get the latest from our CNN correspondent Chris Frates.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning John and Christine. The explosions in New York and New Jersey and the attacks in Minnesota over the weekend almost guaranteed that national security will be front and center on the campaign trail today. Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine told CNN on Sunday that Hillary Clinton has the experience to deal with these kinds of incidents.


SENATOR TIM KAINE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It just raises the stakes on the need to be really, really smart in dealing with challenges like this, both with the law enforcement community but also to make sure we are doing what we can to stop any lone wolf attacks in the United States. We know the threat that is out there and we -- we have a plan to deal with it.


FRATES: Clinton was critical of Trump's decision to describe the New York explosions as a bomb before officials had publicly confirmed the details. And on Sunday, Trump booster Chris Christie hit back.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Listen, I don't think you have to defer when saying that there is an explosion and a bomb in New York. I mean, everybody knew that. It was being reported on television.

Jake, there is a difference now. You shouldn't attribute it to any particular organization or group if you don't have the facts or information to do that but I think that what Donald did was perfectly appropriate to tell that group of Colorado Springs that a bomb exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both candidates head to battleground states today. Trump plans to stop in Florida where recent CNN poll shows him in a dead heat with his democratic rival.

Meanwhile, Clinton is expected to give a speech aimed at millennials in Philadelphia today and a new poll in Pennsylvania shows she is up eight points over Trump in that swing state. John, Christine? Back to you.

ROMANS: All right, Chris, thanks for that.

A big night in Hollywood with television's best in show on display at the 68th Emmy Awards. It began with host Jimmy Kimmel trying to catch a ride to the show and an Uber cameo.


JIMMY KIMMEL, 68TH EMMY AWARDS HOST: Hey, you're driving?

JEB BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yeah, I'm in between jobs right now. You know you can make $12 an hour driving for uber?

KIMMEL: I did not know that, but that's great. I have to get downtown for the Emmys.

BUSH: Are you nominated?

KIMMEL: I am. Yeah.

BUSH: Wow, what's that like?

KIMMEL: It's nice. Nice.

BUSH: You think you can win?

KIMMEL: There's a lot of competition, and probably not. BUSH: Well, here's what I know, if you run a positive campaign, the voters ultimately will make the right choice.

KIMMEL: You know, funny, you sound like my psychic ...

[04:20:00] BUSH: Jimmy, that was a joke. Get out of the car.


BUSH: And shave that wig off your face, you godless Hollywood hippie. Jeb exclamation point.


ROMANS: I love the hat.

BERMAN: Jeb exclamation point. I mean, he has a sense of humor about it.

ROMANS: He does. If you run a positive campaign, ultimately the voters will come to your way of thinking. The big winners besides Jeb Bush, "Game of Thrones" repeating his best drama series and setting a record for Emmy wins.

This series now has 38 Emmy awards, breaking the record held by "Frazier." Another HBO show "Veep" took home the top comedy award. It's star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth straight Emmy as lead comedy actress.

A big head also for "The People v. O.J. Simpson," the critically- acclaimed miniseries winning a total of five Emmys including Outstanding Limited Series and major prices the free (ph) of its actor.

BERMAN: You just made human (ph) the brain behind "the people vs. O.J. Simpson".

All right. The ceasefire in Syria, it is more fragile than ever, only a week into that truce, but that could be an overstatement. Air strikes targeting both Syrian government troops and rebels. New tension between the U.S. and Russia. We are live in Syria, next.


BERMAN: Russia says the mistake and killing of Syrian soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition air strike has put Syria's fragile ceasefire in jeopardy.

But Secretary of State John Kerry blames Russia for not doing enough to enforce the ceasefire. Secretary Kerry tells CNN (inaudible) he wants Russian leaders to make sure President Assad let's humanitarian aid through Syria's hard-hit areas (ph). I want to go for CNN's Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen who is live on the phone for us from Damascus in Syria with the latest on the ground. And Fred, this situation there went from bad to worse over the weekend. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it certainly did. You are absolutely right. It almost didn't (inaudible) happening. And you could clearly see, John, the ceasefire is being breached more and more.

We arrived in Aleppo last week and it was clearly calm there but then it kept getting more and more of these violations and we heard air strikes, also artillery as well.

You could really feel that fire starting to fray. And you had that coalition coalition about air strikes on Syrian forces that took place late Friday night. And that really was something that has obviously angered as the Syrian government is quite a bit and also the Russians as well, and that also led to a further deterioration of that ceasefire as well.

And you know, I was on the ground there with regular folks in Aleppo and they said, look, all they want is for that ceasefire to hold. They were already picking up the pieces and they are hoping that this time, against all the odds, it doesn't go bad because they had their houses destroyed and now trying to rebuild them. They clearly don't want to go through all of that trouble again.

However, right now, it really seems there is going to be (ph) ceasefire, they wanted to talk about the ceasefire. They are very much in trouble as diplomatically the U.S. and Russia and the factions that they support through (inaudible) any common ground to try and make it last.

BERMAN: All right, a very difficult situation with politics now involved all around the world. Frederik Pleitgen in Damascus. Thanks sp much.

ROMANS: All right, back here. Up to five suspicious devices found. At least one detonated in New Jersey. Investigators are still at the scene. We are getting brand new information throughout the hour. We are going to update you next.