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Terror in Manchester; Trump and Abbas Make Remarks. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired May 23, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Chaos, confusion and anguish after a suicide bombing outside a concert in Manchester. Police treating it as a terror incident.

The big question: who was the attacker?

Who inspired?

And EARLY START'S complete coverage starts right now.

Coverage from around the globe. Good morning and welcome to EARLY START on a very difficult day. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, may 23rd. It is 4:00 am Here in the east. We welcome all of our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world.

Grief, outrage, questions after a deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in England. An apparent suicide attacker killing at least 22 people at the Manchester Arena. We can report to you children are among the dead. At least 59 others injured.

This explosion ripping through a public space just outside the main concert area as everyone was leaving the show. Police are treating the incident as an act of terror.

BRIGGS: We can tell you a male at the scene has been identified as the probable bomber. Investigators are digging into his background as we speak. Certainly a chaotic scene at the arena in the moments after the blast with thousands of concert goers all trying to figure out what was happening.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh. What is happening?

What's going on?

Oh, my gosh.

BRIGGS (voice-over): We begin in Manchester. CNN's Hala Gorani has the latest on the investigation. Good morning. HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Christine. We heard from the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins (ph). He said 400 extra police officers have been deployed across the city of Manchester. It's the third largest city in the United Kingdom.

Also noting the first reports of the explosion came in at 10:33 pm local just as an Ariana Grande concert was letting out. This happened in a public space, the foyer outside the arena itself just on its way to Victoria Station in a box office area. But it was timed to coincide with the stream of young people exiting the actual venue, many of them very young. The police saying children are among those killed.

The death toll has risen from 15 to 22, 59 people injured. Six hospitals are responding to this emergency situation. And there's still parents and relatives who don't have all the information they need regarding their loved ones. And the police is issuing emergency numbers for those people to get information on their children, their relatives.

The attacker, we're learning from the police, died at the scene. That attacker detonated an IED, an improvised explosive device, and police are saying there is only one individual, they believe, at this stage that was behind this attack.

Now the big question, of course, for authorities is, was he working alone?

Was he part of a network?

And also are there other people involved in this that police have to get to as soon as possible to prevent more violence?

Back to you.

ROMANS: All right, Hala. We are watching the President of the United States and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas entering the building here. We're monitoring this of course. We're expecting remarks from Bethlehem at any moment. Let's see how close we are to the podium and whether they're going to make remarks directly.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT (through translator): (Speaking foreign language).

(INAUDIBLE) all across the globe. Allow me at the beginning to condemn --


ABBAS (through translator): -- the horrible terrorist attack that occurred in Manchester City, the British man -- city of Manchester, leaving tens of casualties and innocent people.

I do offer my warm condolences to the prime minister of Britain, families of victims and the British people. Your Excellency, meeting you -- meeting you in the White House early this month has given us and our passing in people (ph) as well as also giving all the nations across the region so much hope and optimism of the possibility to make true a dream, a long-awaited dream, an ambition and that is lasting (INAUDIBLE) that peace.

Our Palestinian people's attainment of their freedom and dependence is the key to peace and stability in the world so that the children of Palestine and Israel enjoy a safe, stable and prosperous future.

I would like to reiterate, Your Excellency, Mr. President, our commitment to cooperate with you in order to make these and forge a historic peace deal with the Israelis.

And we would like to reassert our willingness to continue to work with you as partners in fighting terrorism in our region and in the world. In this respect, I commend the importance of the holding of the Arab Islamic American Summit and its findings and outcomes and conclusions.

Your Excellency, Mr. President, once again we reassert to you our positions of accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, the State of Palestine with its capital as East Jerusalem, living alongside the state of Israel in peace and security and good neighborhood as well as resolving all the entire final status issues based on international law and international (INAUDIBLE) resolutions and respecting signed agreements, which sets the tone for the implementation of the Arab peace initiative in accordance with what has been reaffirmed in the most recent Arab summit in Jordan.

Your Excellency, as you have witnessed during your -- as you saw yesterday during your historic visit of (INAUDIBLE) occupied East Jerusalem today and in Bethlehem, the conflict is not between religions, for respecting religions and prophets is an integral part of our religion and faith.

And we're keen to keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors from all walks of life in order to boost confidence and create a genuine peace opportunity.

Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements and failure of Israel to recognize the fate of Palestine in the same way that we recognize that which undermines the realization of the two- state solution.

Our -- the problem is not with -- between us and the Judaism, it's between us and occupation.

I would like to draw the attention to the issue of our Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for more than one month. Meters away from here in the vicinity of Church of Nativity and everywhere, all across Palestine, some of these mothers of prisoners suffer from being denied visits to their children.

And their demands are humane and just. I demand the Israeli government to meet these (INAUDIBLE) legitimate demands --

(AUDIO GAP) ABBAS (through translator): -- obey the rule of law and with -- in

the spirit of tolerance and coexistence and a culture of peace, none violence, no incitement and building bridges instead of walls inside our lands.

Once again, I greet you with the warmest regards, Your Excellency --


ABBAS (through translator): -- the president and your accompanying delegation. I welcome you in Palestine, the Holy Land, wishing you success in your important tour which will lead you to meeting His Holiness, the pope, Francis, and whose efforts, whose dedicated, devoted efforts for peace we appreciate, wishing you and our -- the (INAUDIBLE) American people (INAUDIBLE) a lifetime of health and happiness.

(Speaking foreign language)



As President of the United States, on behalf of the people of the United States, I would like to begin by offering my prayers to the people of Manchester in the United Kingdom. I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families, so many families, of the victims.

We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young, beautiful, innocent people, living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life.

I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that's a great name. I will call them from now on losers, because that is what they are, losers. And we'll have more of them. But they're losers. Just remember that.

This is what I've spent these last few days talking about during my trip overseas: our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed. We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today's attack was mostly innocent children.

The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever. This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated and the innocent life must be protected.

All innocent lives, life must be protected. All civilized nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right of our citizens to live in safety and in peace.

I want to offer my deep appreciation to the Palestinians and President Abbas for hosting me today. It is an honor to join you in Bethlehem, the city that is precious to people from all over the world, precious city.

As I discussed with President Abbas in Washington earlier this month, I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal.

President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith. And Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same. I look forward to working with these leaders toward a lasting peace.

I also look forward to working with President Abbas on other important matters, such as unlocking the potential of the Palestinian economy, which is having a very rough time, and building on our very positive counter-terrorism efforts.

Several days ago in Saudi Arabia, I met with the leaders of the Muslim world --


TRUMP: -- and Arab nations from all across the region. It was an epic gathering. It was a historic event. King Salman of Saudi Arabia could not have been kinder and I will tell you he's a very wise, wise man.

I called on these leaders and asked them to join in a partnership to drive terrorism from their midst once and for all. It was a deeply productive meeting. People have said there has really never been anything even close in history. I believe that.

Being there and seeing who was there and hearing the spirit and a lot of love, there has never been anything like that in history. And it was an honor to be involved.

But great things can come from that meeting. I was gratified that President Abbas joined the summit and committed to taking firm but necessary steps to fight terrorism and confront its hateful ideology.

And it's so interesting that our meeting took place on this very horrible morning of death to innocent young people. Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice.

Peace is a choice we must make each day and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christian and Muslim children all across the region. In so doing, we will all enjoy a safer and brighter future and a safer and brighter world.

In this spirit of hope, we come to Bethlehem, asking God for a more peaceful, safe and far more tolerant world for all of us. I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people.

I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East. And that would be an amazing accomplishment.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


ROMANS: All right. Not taking any questions but you hear remarks there from the Palestinian president and President of the United States, Donald J. Trump addressing -- the president kind of wide- ranging remarks, talking about Middle East peace, doing a victory lap from his trip to Saudi Arabia and giving his first statement on the bombing of Manchester.

BRIGGS: What really stands out there is the President of the United States saying these are "evil losers" in life, the suicide bomber who committed the despicable act last night in Manchester, that he will call them losers in life, he will not call them monsters because, quote "they'd like that."

So some comments that certainly stand out. He said that type of ideology must be completely obliterated and called the meeting in Saudi Arabia an epic gathering and said that if the Palestinians and Israelis can broker this peace deal, that it will bring peace throughout the entire region and help rid that ideology.

ROMANS: Let's bring in our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. She's been listening to the President of the United States and the Palestinian president there, the Palestinian leader at the podium in Bethlehem.

Christiane, let me just bring you in and get your thoughts on what has been a horrible night in Manchester but has really injected -- I don't know -- a dose of reality into what has been pageantry over the last few days.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is tragic. In fact, even President Trump noted in his remarks just then, that it is --


AMANPOUR: -- he used the word "interesting" that our meeting with President Abbas, who was talking about the general meeting in the Middle East, comes on this horrible day of death, he said, in Britain.

Both leaders there standing up and immediately offering their condolences in solidarity to the British prime minister, Theresa May, and all the families of the victims and to the people of Manchester.

Theresa May will be making her own remarks for the first time publicly since this terrible attack. We understand in the next half hour. President Putin of Russia slightly beat the other world leaders to the punch and he has already put out a message of condolence to the British people.

And we heard very, very strong condemnation from the prime minister of Australia because this actually is what all those leaders in that room in Riyadh and going on to the rest of their meetings throughout this presidential trip have been talking about.

The big question is how this despicable ideology, as they all term it, is going to be defeated and how these footsoldiers of death are going to be defeated. This is the big, big question.

And obviously President Trump and others are telling all and sundry that this must happen but it remains to be seen how, in fact, that will happen.

The British have been warning for a long time, the security intelligence services have said it is only a matter of time before we get another major attack. The last one, as we've been saying; I covered it back in 2007, that's 10 years ago, was that multiple coordinated bombing on the British transport services, the underground trains and the buses that killed about 56 people.

This is the worst attack in Britain since then. And, of course, it comes as more and more people have been going to Iraq, to Syria, joining ISIS from all over the Western world and all over the Middle East and elsewhere and begin to come back.

Again, we simply don't know who this perpetrator is. Manchester police have just said it was one man was found. They believe it was one man who was the perpetrator, having carried or somehow worn an IED. And they're still searching to see whether there is a network associated with this killer.

BRIGGS: Christiane, what's your reaction to president's words, that he will call them "losers," those who committed these atrocious attacks, will not call them monsters because, quote, "they would like that"?

AMANPOUR: Well, it's very much in keeping with Donald Trump's style. He has his own way of talking about, dealing with, responding to these kinds of issues, whatever they might be, and using his own terminology.

Perhaps people might get the hint this is not just some act of heroism that these people commit but a terrible, despicable act of cold- blooded murder. And maybe they'll get the hint that these people are losers, certainly that is what many leaders have been trying to say, not just to their own people but to their own Muslim communities, that these acts do not make you Muslim heroes, do not make you folk heroes.

These are the acts of depraved people. The problem is, though, that this is a war that has been waged. It is a war and it cannot be defeated with words or bombings from the air and the like. It is a war that has to be fought in every community and every home, not just in the West but elsewhere.

And there's still a lot of -- it still hasn't quite been worked out around the Middle East other than they are gradually pushing ISIS back in Mosul, other parts of Iraq. We'll wait to see how it resolves itself in Syria.

But this is the kind of war that we've been seeing from Al Qaeda over the years and now it's ISIS. I mean, one thing to say is the British have faced their own wars on the homeland for many, many decades. The last time there was this kind of terrible attack in Manchester was -- I believe it was 1996.

It was a massive 3,000-plus pound bomb that was put in a shopping center by the IRA. But in those days, the IRA gave warnings. There was a warning phoned in. So while there were no deaths, there were many injuries.

But this is the worst in terms of deaths -- and on children, on children and teenagers, who were attending a concert and you can hear the heartbreak and the panic of the parents who still have to be reunited with the kids still missing, those who are going to be going the morgues, those who are going to the hospitals.

It is a devastating attack on this country and on people everywhere.

ROMANS: You heard the president say young, beautiful, innocent people, murdered by "evil losers in life," you know, the president using a colloquial turn of phrases, saying these are losers, not monsters.


ROMANS: Christiane, there is some counterterrorism policy in that word, losers. You've heard experts, Christiane, talk about the loser the lion (ph) mentality, that somehow the jihadi narrative takes root in a certain kind of lost person.

And how do you combat that?

What is the war strategy against an idea that takes root in a weak mind or a lost mind?

That has been really hard to solve.

AMANPOUR: Yes, but you know, before you deal with the minds, you have to deal with the root cause of it and that is the growth of these cells in Syria, in Iraq and elsewhere.

And then on top of that, you layer other counterterrorism and deradicalization efforts.

But the fact that they have areas to operate and to create and train these people is very big. So that, on the ground, is, rather too slowly, I might add, because this has been going on, at least ISIS, since the summer of 2014. That's like four or five years ago.

Before that it was Al Qaeda. But it is online as well. This is a whole new sphere of exponentially faster, deeper and more intense radicalization, to the point that I've asked many Islamic leaders, faith leaders, political leaders and others who say the radicalization is simply happening too fast. We cannot get in there to stop it.

And that's a huge, huge problem. But obviously, as I say, the areas, the caliphate -- which is shrinking but needs to be wiped out pretty fast -- and all these people coming back, there's so much fodder out there.

And foreign policy -- and that is why, that is why the fact that the President of the United States is saying that he can help Israel and Palestine make peace, that is something really serious because that is still one of the root causes of much of the radicalization around there.

BRIGGS: You just wonder if perhaps the despicable nature of this attack is Some type of turning point --


ROMANS: No, it won't be.

BRIGGS: Unfortunately, you don't think so.

AMANPOUR: No. We've had it over and over again. We've had Bataclan, we've had Nice, we've had Munich, we've had Berlin, we've had it over and over again. We've had Brussels, we have a driver, who just takes -- you know you can make a car or a truck or a knife into a weapon of mass destruction.

It is -- I wouldn't say easy; otherwise, a lot more of this would happen, but the intelligence, the police have thousands of cases they're having to keep track of. You hear it every time there's an attack.

Why didn't you stop it?

Why, if that person was on your radar, couldn't you stop it?

Those are legitimate questions. And, frankly, in many countries, there are cutbacks in public service money to police and to other areas like this and that has to be reversed in this climate. But there are thousands and thousands of people on the radars.

ROMANS: And we need to say we don't know if this person was on the radar. We don't know if this person is a homegrown terrorist, we don't know if this person is pointing back to events in the Middle East (INAUDIBLE) inspiration or ISIS. We are -- that is what the investigation will show.

AMANPOUR: But most of the -- most of the modern terrorism in Europe has been homegrown.

ROMANS: Yes, it has.

BRIGGS: Right, the Westminster incident, March 22nd, was a 52-year- old Brit, who drove his car into pedestrians.

Christiane Amanpour, great to have your analysis and insight this morning.

And, again, the severe threat level was there in the U.K., meaning an attack was highly likely. It's just so difficult to stop a suicide bomber. ROMANS: We're going to get back to our coverage from Manchester in just a moment but first the President of the United States asked intelligence officials to publicly clear his campaign of collusion allegations -- that and more on the Russia probe, next.