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London Holds Vigil to Honor Terror Attack Victims; U.K. Police Carry Out Raids in London and Birmingham; Combating Religious Hatred after Attacks; Brendan Cox on Tolerance and Unity; Imagine a World. Aired 2:30- 3:30p ET
Aired March 23, 2017 - 14:30:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program, I'm Christiane Amanpour in London's Trafalgar Square.
A scene of strength and solidarity at this hour as a nation pays tribute to the victims of Wednesday's terror attack. Crowds have gathered from across
the city and indeed around the country.
They are taking part in a candlelit vigil which was called by the mayor of this city and he gave a speech and so did the home secretary. And their
message was crystal clear, that terror will never win. And they lit candles in memory of those who died.
In the past few minutes, a moment of silence was held and it was led by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and mayor Sadiq Khan as well as a top police
official and a host of other dignitaries and community and political leaders from around the country.
But away from these scenes, the investigation into the attacks is widening. The suspect has now been named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. British born,
he had previous criminal connections but was never linked to terrorism. A news agency linked to ISIS earlier called him, quote, "a soldier of the
But ISIS hasn't provided any evidence of that and a U.K. official says it is much too early to say whether ISIS had any operational links at all.
And even though police believe Masood acted alone, they've arrested eight people following raids across the country. In Westminster itself, the
target of the attack, life is slowly getting back to normal.
Lawmakers returned to Parliament, where they were greeted by a defiant message from Prime Minister Theresa May. She said the attack was on
freedom itself but it was one that was quote, "simply futile."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means
to be free. And he took out his rage indiscriminately against innocent men, women and children.
Mr. Speaker, this was an attack on free people everywhere. And on behalf of the British people, I would like to thank our friends and allies around
the world who have made it clear that they stand with us at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: One of those raids was in the city of Birmingham, north of London. And Nic Robertson has all of the news about what the investigators
are beginning to gather -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Christiane, what the police have now released in terms of details about the eight people
they've arrested begin to fill in a little bit of the picture of what they think is going on behind this attack.
So overnight, armed police raided this apartment building behind me. The police arrested at this location three men, three young men, and a young
woman. At another location in Birmingham, they arrested another young man and young woman at the same location.
All six of those people are now being held by the police on the suspicion of the preparation of an act of terrorism. There was another arrest at a
different location later in the day in Birmingham and also an arrest in London.
What we know about Khalid Masood him, born in Kent, just south of London, Christmas Day 1964., 52 years old. But for three decades now he's had a
history of violence and criminality; 1983, he was first charged with his first criminal act, criminal damage.
The most recent time that he was charged in court, 2003, and that was for possession of a knife. But we've also heard that, in the intervening
period since 2003, he had been on the radar of the British intelligence services that they investigated him, discovered him to be on the periphery
of radical Islamist circles but, they say, that there was no reason, they had no reason to believe that he was planning an imminent attack and that
he was not currently under observation or under suspicion for criminality.
So that is the picture that's beginning to emerge. A center of gravity, it seems, here in Birmingham, where he was living in the West Midlands area,
we're told by the police, in recent years -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic, two things stand out: he was 52 years old. That is not the typical profile of the terrorists we have seen recently and, two, he
was not on the radar for terrorism.
Yes you say that perhaps he had been slightly radicalized recently but all his crimes were petty crimes.
Do police believe --
AMANPOUR: -- he was actually a jihadi terrorist?
Or was he just a petty criminal who was acting out the same kind of crimes that he has committed in the past?
ROBERTSON: It doesn't seem that the police have yet reached a conclusion; however, they do say that they believe he was acting alone.
However, the six people in Birmingham, four from the address behind me and two at another location, are being held and arrested immediately after his
brazen act of terrorism, that they're being held on suspicion of preparation of an act of terrorism, does tend to lead to the belief that he
may not have been entirely alone, that he might have been in with this group of people.
But again, we just don't know the details yet.
What we do know -- and this has come from the police investigation as well -- that the Enterprise car agency that rented the car that was used in the
attack is just a mile from where I'm standing right now. So again it paints that picture of an involvement in the attack from this area and
Birmingham. But how it all links together remains unclear -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic Robertson in Birmingham, thank you very much indeed.
And Britain's spirit was on full display in Parliament today and frankly around the city. There in Westminster, MPs returned to work with a clear
message, that it is business as usual.
And in a collective show of unity, the chamber honored the bravery of police and they paid special tribute to PC Keith Palmer, who gave his life
to protect his colleagues and to stop the killer getting inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: PC Keith Palmer didn't return home from work yesterday to his family so the rest of us in this house could -- should never forget
that sacrifice. And every single day we should pass our thanks to the staff security of this house and the emergency services.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very proud of the police and everything that they do in defending our democracy. Keith Palmer was one of us; the police who
protect us are one of us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to turn for just a moment to PC Keith Palmer, who I first met 25 years ago, as Gunner Keith Palmer at
Headquarters Battery 100 Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was a strong, professional public servant and was a delight to meet him here again only a
few months after being elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Emotional remembrances from one who knew him when they were both in the military together. The prime minister said that she will consider a
posthumous honor for Palmer. And MPs also warned against hatred and fear, saying the public will not be intimidated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This attacker and people like him are not of my religion, nor are they of our community. And we should condemn all of them
who pretend to be of a particular religion because they are not of a religion.
If they were of a religion, they wouldn't be carrying out acts like this. We have to stay united and show them that they can't win on these grounds
and we're here to stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One terrorist will not destroy our country. Ten terrorists will not destroy our country; 10,000 terrorists will not destroy
our country. In fact, no amount of terrorists will ever destroy our way of life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, fighting words indeed. Our next guest was a leading figure in London Metropolitan Police, becoming deputy assistant
commissioner during a career that spanned three decades.
Lord now, Brian Paddock is with me as we speak here in Trafalgar Square.
Welcome to the program. And you were directly involved in trying to tell the public in dealing with the aftermath of the 2005, 7/7 attack, and that,
of course, was the last time this city, this country was attacked in a major way.
LORD BRIAN PADDOCK, FORMER METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMANDER: Sure and this was a relatively minor incident compared with what happened in 2005. Very,
very serious, the worst day of the relatives' lives of those who lost their lives obviously. But generally speaking, this was one lone individual, who
did an attack with a knife, compared with bombings on the subway system, on a bus, back in 2005.
AMANPOUR: A knife and a car and the car was the lethal weapon that killed at least two victims and injured so many others.
What has the police force undergone in terms of extra training preparation, preparedness for this kind of attack?
Because everyone, from America to around the world, have been praising the response of the police and the emergency services.
PADDOCK: Well, even last weekend, the Metropolitan Police in London were practicing --
PADDOCK: -- a terrorist incident happening on the River Thames, so there's been a whole range of different exercises, where different scenarios are
And, indeed, there has been a scenario, where specialists, officers have tried to break into Parliament in the way that the incident happened
yesterday. So this has all been very carefully planned beforehand. And, clearly, the tragic death of an officer, of a police officer is something
that nobody would want to see. But everybody inside Parliament was safe.
AMANPOUR: You were inside Parliament and you're now in the Lords and you were inside Parliament when this took place.
What did you see, as it was unfolding?
I know you were all under lockdown for a long time.
But how did it come to pass?
PADDOCK: So I was in a meeting in one of the committee rooms in Parliament. We heard shouting and we heard what we thought was gunfire.
The next thing we knew, we were told that the sitting of the House of Commons have been suspended.
And we were then moved into a central part of Parliament, where the police officers knew that they could keep us safe. All the entrances and exits to
that central area were guarded by armed police officers because they didn't know whether this was just one lone attacker or whether he had an
accomplice who might still be loose within the palace.
AMANPOUR: You say armed officers. Obviously PC Palmer was not armed. It was his colleagues in the force that came to, well, that killed the
Is there going to be now a debate about whether even those police who are actually, he was sort of diplomatic, if you like, parliamentary protection
force, will they have to be armed, do you think?
Is that a relative debate to be had?
PADDOCK: The difficulty is we want this to be an open democracy. We want this to be an open Parliament. So we want to have approachable police
officers, who have their photographs taken with tourists at the perimeter of Parliament.
But they must have armed backup behind them. And there is going to be a debate as to whether -- as to whether that armed backup is sufficient or
whether or not it needs to be enhanced.
AMANPOUR: And now let's talk about the investigation. Obviously you only know what we're being told, that there is this Khalid Masood, 52-year old,
born here in Kent, had a history of petty crime, grievous bodily harm, including harm with a knife, but was not on the terrorism radar.
However, they are saying that perhaps he may have been slightly radicalized in the last few years and he's obviously spent some time in prison. There
are lots of concerns about what is going on in prison these days and about these rapid conversions to Islam, about the -- about the radicalization
that happens there.
PADDOCK: Yes, and we don't know, as you say in this particular case, people are saying that he was -- police officers are saying he was inspired
by international terrorism.
Well, you could just watch what happened in Nice, where a lorry was driven into pedestrians on the sidewalk. You could say that he was inspired by
that. It doesn't necessarily mean he was under operational control of ISIS.
AMANPOUR: Can I briefly ask you because we're going on to some other instances, we've got the vigil there.
Can I ask you to reflect on the reaction to this, 24-hour news, vigils, you know, just the whole attention being paid on this.
From your perspective as a police officer who doesn't want to give oxygen to the terrorists, is this good?
PADDOCK: Well, what we need to focus on is the heroism of the police officer who protected parliamentarians inside one of the oldest seats in
democracy. We need to focus on the armed officer who stopped the guy from killing anybody else.
We to focus on the defiance of Londoners in the face of this threat. We take the positives out of this and not give any credence at all to the
individual who carried out this despicable attack.
AMANPOUR: Lord Paddock, formerly of the Met Police, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Now after a break, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tells me why the terrorists will not succeed in cowing the people of this city. And we
leave you for a moment with more words from British lawmaker James Cleverly and his request in Parliament that his friend, Keith Palmer, be honored.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH MP: Would my right honorable friend, the prime minister, in recognition of the work that he did and the other police
officers and public servants here in the House do, consider recognizing his gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition?
AMANPOUR: Welcome back; a message from the pope there, one of many world leaders who have poured support into Great Britain after yesterday's
attack. Now one of Britain's most senior Muslim politicians is the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, I spoke to him earlier. He joined me from city hall
with strong words of reassurance for London's residents, for visitors and businesses.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Sadiq Khan, welcome to the program. And let me first ask you what everybody I'm sure in the city wants to know.
Do you have the confidence to be able to tell people in this city and those who want to visit from abroad that there isn't going to be a follow-on?
What are law enforcement telling you about this particular attack and its aftermath?
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, London is the safest global city in the world, one of the safest cities in the world. My thoughts are with the
family of Keith Palmer, the police officer who tragically lost his life yesterday keeping our city and keeping Londoners safe.
And one of the reasons I can say that London is the safest global city in the world and safest cities in the world, is because there were literally
tens and thousands of Keith Palmers, keeping our cities safe and working with members of the public who provide intelligence and information,
working with our security services.
You'll see over the next few days an increased number of armed and unarmed officers across London. You'll see some change around some of the
buildings with budards (ph) being put in place.
We are a very safe city. The intelligence we have is that this was an attack from a lone attacker, a lone terrorist, trying to destroy our way of
life and trying to divide our communities, trying to kill as many people as possible and injure as many people as possible.
And one of the reasons why few people were killed, few people were injured, is because of the bravery of our police service, the bravery of our
emergency service and because we've practiced and prepared for events such as this.
AMANPOUR: The assailant was killed and the police have been conducting raids not only in London but in Birmingham, north of here; they've raided,
we're told, six addresses and they've made seven arrests.
What can you tell us about those arrests, particularly the ones that have happened in London?
SADIQ KHAN: Well, I've got to be very careful what I share with you on the media for reasons that you'll appreciate. What I can share with you is
that a number of properties have been raided across the country. A number of people have been arrested. And it's really fortunate to reassure
Londoners and visitors the police and the service are doing all that they can to investigate this matter as soon as they possibly can.
There's still a small part of Westminster that's been cordoned off whilst the police carry on their investigation. There was only one man inside the
car that attacked men, women and children on Westminster Bridge. And only one man who went into Parliament.
He was shot very, very quickly and lost his life on the scene. Londoners and visitors should be reassured, we are a safer city. But there will be
additional security across London.
AMANPOUR: So, Mayor, what does one do then as mayor, as head of the police, as --
AMANPOUR: -- intelligence chiefs in a city like London, which is a magnet for tourists from all over the world. They come by foot, by tube, by bus,
by car, to visit the bridge, the river, the Parliament.
And the bottom line is we understand that the majority of those who were injured and lost their lives on the bridge may have been foreign, at least
a big number of those may have been foreign tourists.
What do you say to these people about whether they can ever be fully 100 percent secure in today's environment?
SADIQ KHAN: Well, we know that over the last few years terrorists have tried to find new ways to harm us, to kill many of us and to destroy our
way of life. But just like they've been evolving and adapting, so have police and security services. We've been evolving and adapting to find new
ways to keep us safe.
Over the last four years alone, there have been 13 separate serious terrorist attempts which have been thwarted by the expertise of our police
and security services and because of intelligence information provided to our police by members of the public, unfortunately, yesterday this lone
attacker was successful.
But because of the preparation and the practice that we have done, far fewer people lost their lives, far fewer people were injured than would
otherwise by the case. It is the position that the threat level today is the same as it's been for a number of years now, which is severe.
That means attack is highly likely and the Met Police commissioner said last year -- he's recently retired -- as far as an attack was concerned in
London, it was a question of when, not if.
And so we're never complacent. We're always vigilant. We're doing all that we can to keep Londoners and visitors safe. We've got the best police
security service in the world.
I say this because of my experience over the last 10 or 11 months working with them. And I'm confident we're doing all that we can to keep our
cities safe, to keep Londoners safe and to keep visitors safe.
AMANPOUR: Mayor, obviously the notion of social cohesion is vital to keeping communities together and fending off this kind of attack.
Are you concerned that, because of the name "Birmingham," because of the raids in some of these places which have previously been identified as
where attacks may have been planned or people are concerned about some areas, that there may be a backlash, an over-the-top investigation or
arrest in some of the cities?
Are you concerned about that?
SADIQ KHAN: It's worth reminding ourselves why the terrorists hate us so much. They hate the fact that here in London and across our country,
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists don't just tolerate each other; we respect each other. We celebrate each other. We embrace
each other. We have a vibrant democracy. We have civil liberties and human rights.
And that's what they hate. We police by consent, though, and that means working with the communities, being our eyes and ears supplied with
intelligence to give us information to help keep us safe. And the police are acting on the intelligence they've got.
There's been raids across the country, not just in Birmingham but in London and other cities across the country. Some arrests have been made. But
members of the public whatever faith they are recognize the police have a very important job to do to investigate this matter but too keep us safe.
It's the police we ring when we fear for our personal safety, it's the police we ring and give information to if we're suspicious of people within
AMANPOUR: Mayor, you have said that this was precisely the nightmare scenario that you were dreading like many mayors in many parts of the
world, in the current environment.
I wonder -- I know you don't want to talk politics today -- but whether you have a reaction to the sort of kneejerk tweet that came out of the United
States from the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., referencing an interview you had done months ago and saying, you've got to be kidding me, regarding
the frequency or the likelihood of terrorism in big cities today.
SADIQ KHAN: Well, I'm not going to respond to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., I've been doing far more important things over the last 24 hours.
What I do know is that the threat level in London and across the country is severe, that means an attack is highly likely.
I was in New York last year when there was an attack in New York and terrorists hate the fact that, whether it's New York, whether it's London,
whether it's Paris, whether it's Brussels, whether it's Istanbul, whether it's Madrid, we have diverse communities living together peacefully.
(INAUDIBLE) situation where Parliament is returning to normal today and city hall is returning to normal today. City hall is returning to normal
today. Tourists are returning to London today. Businesses returning to normal today.
Just the thing that the terrorists hate. And I'm not going to allow terrorists to divide London, to destroy our way of life. We remain united
and we are the greatest city in the world.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Mayor Sadiq Khan, thank you so much for joining us from city hall.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Sadiq Khan, London's first Muslim mayor, and he ran on a platform of unity and hope, not division. We are live in London's iconic
Trafalgar Square and behind me you can see people have come here with specific signs.
This gentleman, "I am a Muslim, we are safe."
After the break, the Muslim community has strongly condemned the actions of Khalid Masood and I'll speak to the head of the Muslim Council of Britain
on what challenges are ahead in the wake of this attack. So stay right with us. We'll be back after a break.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. I'm in Trafalgar Square and behind me you can see a vigil that's still going on. It was called by the mayor
of London. And there were speeches, praising the heroism of the responders and mourning the loss of those who were killed.
And there have been some candles lit to remember all of those who were killed, including the police officer, who was killed stopping the assailant
from getting into the Parliament building.
I'm joined now by the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan.
Welcome; thank you for being with us.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Khan, here we go again. Your community on the defensive, having to explain, having to deal with an attack but at least, at this
point, the police are saying they are treating as Islamist inspired terrorism.
What does this do to your community?
HARUN KHAN, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN: It's quite concerning. I think it's a deplorable act. We've condemned it quite outright and rightly so.
It was a shocking event and very saddening (INAUDIBLE) so someone like myself is born and bred in London, to see something like this and to see
the impact of it on our communities, not just Muslim but I think as society as a whole, it's had a huge impact.
AMANPOUR: And yet you must be impressed or taken by the way people have come together and by the way the city is still functioning, it's obviously
not on its knees and people are coming out here. There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of fear.
Have you noticed any backlash against your community?
HARUN KHAN: Not as yet. I mean, it's been less than -- just over 24 hours. But I agree with you, I feel more solidarity; we've seen people
turn out here today and show that solidarity. I think London is quite different in its response to some of these atrocities.
And it's happened before as well, even in post-referendum on the E.U. exit. We've seen the response. We've seen the mayor's response. And I think
that's very powerful from the mayor and from the prime minister as well.
AMANPOUR: And what happens next?
What are you expecting?
You know, obviously there are these raids; there have been raids in Birmingham and London. It's assumed that this man, 52 years old, also born
here in England, was acting alone but may have been helped by others.
HARUN KHAN: It's quite worrying. I think we don't know much, to be honest. And until we know more, it will be hard to speculate.
AMANPOUR: What about the sort of petty criminality?
He's been described as having a -- basically a record as long as his arm of petty crime, grievous bodily harm, knife wielding assault.
What happens to these people in prison?
HARUN KHAN: I mean, if we look at the track record of some of the people who have been called, even the attackers of Lee Rigby, who was murdered a
couple of years ago, there seems to be a trend around criminality on some of these people.
Even some of the people who were flown out to Syria, some of them were reverts. There isn't a single answer and there isn't a single type of
personality. But there are some characteristics which are not dissimilar in terms of the lifestyle that they've had.
And what it probably shows is that very few of them have --
HARUN KHAN: -- a good upbringing with an understanding of the religion. And other factors play into their mindset which then leads them down a
path, which is quite, you know, it's really not the majority and the mainstream view, which we've seen many, many times.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. Harun Khan, thank you so much indeed.
HARUN KHAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you for being with us.
So as I said, the candlelit vigil for the victims here in this historic Trafalgar Square is still going on. The formal speeches have ended but
people are still here. And we'll have much more on those who were hurt and killed in the attack and how Britain continues to respond.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back.
You're watching the moment of silence that was held around midday today in the Houses of Parliament. That was, as the prime minister, Theresa May,
said, a demonstration that this country, this city will not be cowed and business will go on as usual.
The prime minister also gave a statement in Parliament today.
And we are live now from London's Trafalgar Square, which is still filled with crowds who are holding a candlelit vigil in honor of the victims of
that terror attack yesterday. It was called by the mayor.
There were police chiefs here, politicians, faith leaders and ordinary citizens. And people have from across the city and the country to stand
side by side and to give each other solidarity and support.
In the first half hour, a moment of silence was held and it was led by Britain's home secretary, Amber Rudd, also, as I said, London mayor Sadiq
Khan as well as the top police official.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN: We come together as Londoners tonight, to remember those who have lost their lives and all those affected by the horrific attack
yesterday but also to send a clear message. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): This is a nation with a fighting spirit. They have shown it time and time again. And they are continuing to do so today.
Police, meantime, have named the suspect in Wednesday's attack as Khalid Masood. He was born here in the United Kingdom in Kent and was 52 years
old. He had a number of convictions for assault, weapons possession, grievous bodily harm, public order offenses and other such crimes. Police
say he had not been --
AMANPOUR: -- convicted of any terror-related offenses and was not the subject of any current investigations.
Authorities have carried out a series of raids around the country overnight. Eight people have been arrested so far. Now our Phil Black is
at the New Scotland Yard headquarters with details of what we know about the investigation so far -- Phil.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christiane, as you mentioned, the first time police have now discussed some of the details about the man
responsible, they believe was responsible for that attack yesterday, Khalid Masood, not the subject of an ongoing investigation. They insist there was
no intelligence indicating that he was about to carry out this attack.
But, as you say, there was -- he was known to them, because of a criminal record, a long, violent criminal record. He had convictions for a number
of assaults, including grievous bodily harm, possessing an offensive weapon, public order offenses and that criminal record stretched from 1983
The most recent conviction there was for carrying, possessing a knife. So not recent contact but Prime Minister Theresa May told her -- the Houses of
Parliament today that Britain's security service, domestic security service, MI-5 had investigated this man. She wasn't specific but she said
some years ago, because of concerns about possible links to extremism.
What she did say is that it was an historic investigation. He was a peripheral figure, that he was not part of the current intelligence
So we've learned or we've been drawn a picture today of a man with a violent criminal past, who had, at some point, showed up on the radar of
the internal security service because of his extreme religious beliefs.
But it wasn't enough and it certainly wasn't an ongoing threat. Well, what's what it was deemed to be at the time.
Meanwhile, the police investigation has continued with raids going on at a number of places, principally London and Birmingham. The police said that
Khalid Masood was from the West Midlands. Birmingham is there; that's where a lot of their operations have been.
And over the last 24 hours or so, they have arrested eight people, mostly in their 20s. The youngest is 21 but stretches in age also up to and
including a 58-year-old man. They have all been arrested for -- on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. That's all we've been told.
We don't know whether those suspicions, those suspected terrorist acts, are directly linked to what happened here or if they were potentially other
plots, other ideas.
But the police have told us that they do not believe there is any further imminent threat. The fact that they have released Khalid Masood's name,
which is something they were very reluctant to do, indicates quite strongly that they have exhausted, at least initially, their searches to try and
find who his possible associates may be. We know that's what they're trying to do right now.
They're trying to answer the question, did he have any help, did he have any support or encouragement?
We haven't been told precisely just how these arrests may or may not be connected to the events that took place here in Westminster yesterday --
AMANPOUR: And important to emphasize, they do still believe that he acted alone but perhaps some of those people who they're investigating, as you
say, may have helped prepare.
Phil, let's just talk a little bit about the incredible preparedness of the police and, obviously, all the emergency services. We're very lucky that
there was at least one major hospital right on Westminster Bridge, which could send emergency vehicles and emergency personnel to the injured.
But we've also been seeing video of training missions by the police, right there on the Thames, just as early as this past weekend. Tell us about the
ramped-up training they've been conducting.
BLACK: We know for some years now, obviously, going back to the 7- 7-2005 attacks, the emergency services here, Christiane, have obviously been
deeply concerned about another repeat attack.
In recent years, what their main concern has been, the possibility of what they describe as a marauding attack, like those seen in Mumbai, in Paris
and so forth, multiple attackers, probably armed, potentially with automatic weapons, on the move, mobile and taking out vast numbers of
targets in the process.
The very nature of trying to stop that sort of attack has really had the authorities here very nervous for some time. That's what they've been
training to prevent.
And, indeed, when the first reports of a gun incident taking place, a firearms incident taking place at Parliament, the police have said, that's
the operation that they swung into effect. They were started to be ready to deal with that sort of situation.
Fortunately, as we know, that --
BLACK: -- wasn't the case. But what we've seen, obviously, is another situation, one that is much more difficult to police and both to prevent
and stop once it started, because, for all the sophistication of the anti- terror efforts in this country, both through the police and the intelligence services -- and there is no doubt they are impressive --
dealing with committed individuals who are prepared to carry out attacks like the one we saw here yesterday, using very basic items -- a car, a
knife -- but turning them, not just into weapons of terror but very effective weapons of terror, that's what proves to be such a desperate
policing challenge here.
What we saw swing into effect was obviously very impressive. We saw, not just from a security point of view, in terms of the police response, but
you're right, the medical response, as well.
Hospitals automatically responded and, indeed, those closest even sent nurses and doctors on foot, running to the location here, in order to help
people who were injured.
And for very understandable reasons, in this city, in this country today, there has been a great deal of praise and, I think, a great deal of pride
for the responses of the emergency services and the way they swung into action, so very quickly, really, within minutes of those gunshots being
fired and that attacker being neutralized within the gates of the Parliament yesterday -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Phil Black, thank you, outside Scotland Yard for us this evening.
And of course, the most lethal weapon was that car, careening down the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge. Three French high school students, who
were injured in that attack, are being treated here in London.
The teenagers were walking along Westminster Bridge when they were hit by what is believed to be the attacker's SUV. And they are in London on a
school field trip. A French newspaper reports that one student is in critical condition. And all three are being treated for multiple traumatic
The French president Francois Hollande says their parents are being flown in from Brittany by military aircraft. And, in a sad coincidence, the
French foreign ministry says the students are from the very same school that one of the victims of the 2015 Paris attacks attended.
Now after a break, the husband of the murdered British MP, Jo Cox, on the importance of remembering the heroes and the victims of this attack, not
AMANPOUR: Tweets there by the noted British historian, Simon Schama, offering a strong positive message following the terror attack. He's
professor of history at Columbia University and he joins me now by phone.
Simon, you've been tweeting, you've been watching, you've been covering this kind of fallout for many, many years now.
What goes through your mind and your heart when you see this happen --
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: -- again?
SIMON SCHAMA, HISTORIAN: Well, obviously, shock and despondency, Christiane. But you know I'm a Londoner, I was born during the Blitz, I
wasn't aware of being born during the Blitz in -- well, not the Blitz; sorry, V2 raid in 1945.
So London is in my DNA, in my blood system. And the first thing that struck me today, and you might have noticed it, too, was the sheer pulse of
vitality in the city.
There was somebody on FOX News yesterday, who said, oh, Londoners are all kind of shaking in their shoes and cowed and upset.
And there as absolutely nothing of that in the city today. Nobody wanted to diminish the grief and sorrow and outrage of what happened. But,
nonetheless, there was an extraordinary sense of -- didn't need Theresa May, although she very spoke eloquently and very well, didn't need her to
say life will go on in this glorious city of ours, which has, one should -- one can't emphasize enough, a Muslim mayor, committed to tolerance and a
kind of humane enlightenment.
So it was a sheer kind of organic force of the city, which was striking today. And Westminster, which, sort of like Washington, you know, is kind
of dirty word, you think, politics, boring; corrupt; doesn't attend to the real needs of real people, suddenly, I think, yesterday and today, we all
realize -- you realize this when you've suffered a kind of violation, as we did yesterday, Westminster is terribly precious.
That democracy is terribly precious. And there was something pathetic, really, about the sheer, brutal violence of what happened against the
majesty of the mother of Parliament, which I think, in the end, made people feel stronger and more determined from, you know, from people I talked to
on the tube and taxis on the street.
So you come out of it, not Pollyannaish about the future but knowing that it takes more than a kind of psychotic, atrocity-delivering murderer to
bring us down.
AMANPOUR: Simon, as you were talking -- and you said you'd been in the tube. We saw words and tributes that had been written up on various tube
signs for people to read.
But you also mentioned the politics on FOX News and other such places. There are some quarters right now which are playing politics with this
attacks and want to use it to justify, whether it's a Muslim ban into the United States, whether it's a ban on immigration, as many of the populist
politicians around Europe are calling for, that is happening right now in the wake of this attack.
SCHAMA: I'm sure it is. And it seems to me really misguided, just on the level of actually looking where the murderer came from, where the terrorist
came from. He came from the same place that Nigel Farage was born.
In fact, they were born in the same year, in the middle of Kent -- in the middle of Kent. You know, an immigration ban would have done absolutely
nothing about this.
And the lesson to take from that is that immigration bans are not going to hermetically seal you against this kind of outrage. The thing to do is
education, above all. I know that sounds like a very kind of stiff and starchy and banal way to do it.
But ultimately, we have to take on murderous fanaticism with the strength of our own values and the eloquence about those values of free speech and
tolerance and to view counterterrorism through acts of speech and education, rather than shutting the borders because the problem more and
more and more, whether you look in France or Belgium or the United States or this country, is of homegrown terror.
They are living amongst us. They're not clamoring to get in through the airports.
AMANPOUR: Simon Schama, thank you so much for that vital perspective.
And my next guest understands the pain the PC Keith Palmer's family is feeling more than most people. He's Brendan Cox, whose own wife, Jo, was a
member of Parliament, mother of two. She was shot and stabbed to death last year, the week before the E.U. referendum vote, by a man possessing
extreme right-wing views.
Brendan joined me a short while ago here in Central London to talk about the aftermath of this attack.
AMANPOUR: Brendan Cox, welcome to the program.
You suffered something just like this. You lost your wife in an attack. She was an MP.
What went through your mind when you heard what happened yesterday?
BRENDAN COX, WIDOWER OF JO COX: I think the first thing that went through my mind was just what would be happening to the people who had lost their
loved one. And I remember the call and I thought how they must be feeling. And I felt for their families, when they won't come home that --
COX: -- evening, And I wanted to fixate not on the person that did this but on the humans -- the human stories, the heroes, the victims, and not to
-- I think one of the things with terrorism is, one of the motivations is notoriety. They want to be famous.
And I think we have a duty not to remember their name but to remember the names of the people like PC Palmer, who gave his life defending our values
and our Parliament.
AMANPOUR: And you did tweet about that. And it was very poignant because he was killed doing his job. And he stopped that killer from getting into
Just describe the importance of actually what happened. The system worked; although there was loss of life, that killer couldn't get into Parliament.
COX: Yes, so PC Palmer gave his life protecting Parliament. And he did so without concern for himself; he did so to protect other people. Despite
not being armed, he put himself in harm's way.
And I think at a moment like this, I want to remember -- you know, yesterday, there was one act of supreme cowardice and evil. There were
hundreds of acts of kindness and heroism: the MP (INAUDIBLE) who gave mouth-to-mouth to the police officer who was killed; the dozens of people
on the bridge, who picked up people when their bodies were broken by the car and looked after them.
And we should be telling those stories, not just the stories of the evil person that did this.
AMANPOUR: And what would you tell the families of the victims, given your own experience?
Because they must be in terrible shock right now.
COX: I wouldn't -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't pretend that I can give them any -- anything that will make their pain lessen.
I think the only thing I would say is that, is with children in particular, to be honest with them and to be open with them and to talk about your
loved one and to try to remember who they were and what defined their lives, not the moment that defined their deaths.
AMANPOUR: What happened to Jo happened in a terribly bitter political context. And there has been a lot of blame for her death on the political
moment. And right now we can see cynical politics being played, in certain areas of the media landscape, with what happened here yesterday.
And Nigel Farage has been on FOX News, saying, well, see; we should have a Muslim ban. And those kinds of things are being said.
What do you make of that?
COX: I think the thing that breaks my heart about all of this is that the only way -- the terrorists can't defeat us militarily. They have no
ability to do that. The only way they can win is if they turn us against ourselves and people who play into that, people respond to hatred with
hatred, people who turn communities against themselves, they are doing the work of terrorists.
And what we need to do is to come together to show that we are united, to show that, together, we will beat it. And that's what British people have
always done. They've always had tolerance. They've always had that inclusion that they are at the heart of our country.
And in response to this, the best response is not to respond with hatred against groups; it's to respond with togetherness and to show that you
can't divide us.
AMANPOUR: Again, it is very, very difficult right now, because forces almost larger than we can imagine, whether it's the presidency of the
United States, whether it's, you know, politics here around Brexit, around the upcoming elections in France and Germany, there is a narrative that
some people want to see come true.
And I don't know whether you have any thoughts or answers about how people refuse to allow themselves to be swept away by that.
COX: So the thing that my wife always talked about was that we have more in common than that which divides us, which isn't to suggest that there
aren't things that divide us. There are.
We vote in different ways in elections, different ways in referenda, we support different football clubs. But the thing that we need to find more
opportunities to do is to actually reflect on the things that hold us together, the values that hold us together, the institutions that hold us
together, the amazing people like, you know, PC Palmer, who personified British values.
We need to focus much more on them and much less on the things that we disagree with each other. And I think if we do that, I think there's a
yearning of the public for that sense of togetherness. People are frankly sick of the narratives around hatred and division. People don't feel it in
their lives. They actually feel that they're crying out for that togetherness.
AMANPOUR: Brendan Cox, thank you very much indeed.
The important words and vital perspective of someone who's been through this kind of tragedy himself.
And after a break, we dedicate the end of our show to the three victims of Wednesday's attack. That's next.
AMANPOUR: And our final thoughts tonight go to the three victims of the Westminster terror attack. Now they have all been named by Britain's
Imagine Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old Spanish teacher at a college here in London. A friend on the London radio station, LBC, said that she was so
excited because her daughter had just gotten into the secondary school that she wanted. And how today Aysha's school remembered her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES, FRIEND OF AYSHA: It's all in bits at the moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course.
JAMES: My wife's still there at the moment at the (INAUDIBLE). A lot of tears. They had a prayer service this morning for her memory. And she was
just a great person. And all she ever did was say nice things about our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Imagine Kirk Cochran, an American tourist from Utah, taking in the majestic views of the Houses of Parliament. The 54-year old was with
his wife, Melissa, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. She was also seriously injured.
Their family have joined the chorus of voices praising London's emergency services.
And of course, imagine Keith Palmer, the 48-year-old husband and father of two, who stopped the attacker from entering Parliament. He's remembered in
the House of Commons in flowers across Westminster and Whitehall and in an eternal flame outside Scotland Yard that's honoring police who have fallen
in the line of duty throughout time.
And it now burns for him as well.
That is it for our special edition tonight outside Trafalgar Square. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at
amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.