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Terrorist Attack Strikes the Heart of London. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 03, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:00] MARK ROBERTS, WITNESS: So a lot of people who just stops taking selfies and photos of the river, they're just walking across these small groups. And it looked to me like the van was aiming to the people.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. What did you do when you saw the van coming?
ROBERTS: Well, I froze, to be honest. I was just trying to work out where is going to be the best place to go. And as I was doing that, thinking which direction should I run, the van swerved across the outermost of the bridge. So it went away from where I was. I was just lucky to not been hit. But it was pretty horrible looked around and seeing the van go past me and knock the other person 20 feet in the air.
CABRERA: We are looking at images right now from London Bridge where you can see large police presence. People are still in that area. We're seeing some folks walking and running. And, Mark, stay with us.
We're talking with Mark Roberts. He is a witness on the scene of an incident that happened some time within the last hour. He was on the bridge. He described for us seeing a van going a high rate of speed coming from the south and plowing into a number of people who were on the bridge, people who stop to take pictures and continuing to drive forward. One person flying into the air, several feet. Eventually, Mark Roberts says this van came to a rest after it run into a bus or a bus stop and it was still on the bridge at the time.
Now, Mark, you also mentioned hearing what sounded like gunfire. How long after this initial incident where you saw the van actually hit a lot of people before coming to a rest? How long after that happened? Did you hear what sounded like gunfire?
ROBERTS: I think it was probably about 10 minutes -- about 10 minutes later, there's a lot of gunfire. The police got here very quickly. And the shots sounded to me like the gun person to me like it was coming from the Borough Market area. So on our London (inaudible) and that sounded to me like the area that it was coming from --
CABRERA: Now was that the same direction the van was headed?
ROBERTS: It's the wrong. So it was -- that would have been consistent with somebody getting out to the van and running away and then being caught.
CABRERA: And then how long did it take you before you saw police --
ROBERTS: I don't have any information about that that it would be consistent with that.
CABRERA: I understand. Just trying to piece together some of the scene and the timeline here, Mark. When you saw the van and the incident unfolding, how long did it take for police to respond? Were they very close to that area? Do you have a sense of how long it took?
ROBERTS: It was very quick. I mean, there were police -- the police were patrolling around all the time anyway in the area. I mean they're -- they were, obviously, at London Bridge station tonight and there were probably half a dozen police at the station itself earlier in the evening just being a presence. So they were on the scene very quickly.
I'm not going to be able to continue on the line. At the moment, I'm in a bus. The police have gathered together all of the witnesses who are on the bridge. And they're taking us to a hotel where they're going to take statements from us. So at the moment, I'm being transported by the police to another location.
CABRERA: OK. And who -- and are the people that you are with, all people who are uninjured or are some of them who were loaded up affected directly by this incident?
ROBERTS: They're all uninjured. People were being treated. There were paramedics all over the place dealing with the people who have been injured.
CABRERA: About how many people were injured?
ROBERTS: I don't have any -- well, in my line of sight, I could see maybe five or six people on the ground spread out across the area that I could see. But I couldn't see any more than that.
[18:05:04] But I think -- I think I'm going to have to stop there actually because it's becoming a bit difficult and, you know, there's a lot of people who are upset around here. And we're going off now to speak to the police. I'm going to have to leave you there.
CABRERA: OK, Mark Roberts, we will let you go. We really appreciate you spending the time with us to describe for us what you witnessed. Thank you so much. We wish you and all of those with you the very best. We hope you will reconnect with us when you do have a moment.
I want to just update our viewers right now about what we are watching and learning as there as incident unfolding on London Bridge right now, a little after 11:00, local time there. You see these images with many police cars on scene, ambulances on scene, a lot of sirens and a lot of flashing lights.
We are just talking with Mark Roberts who was on London Bridge. He talked about seeing a van coming across the bridge at a high rate of speed, a little over half an hour ago now when he was on the bridge and was swerving back and forth, he said, bouncing off the pavement and knocking into several people.
Mark Roberts described seeing five or six people being mowed over and ending up on the ground. He said he saw one person fly several feet into the air as the van kept on driving, carrying on until it hit a bus or a bus stop and coming to a rest while it was still on the bridge. He also said he heard what sounded like gunfire about 5 or 10 minutes after this initial incident coming from an area in which he described as the Borough Market area for those who are familiar with London.
At this point, it's unconfirmed whether there were gunshots fired at all. He just described what sounded like gunshots in that area. Now, Mark Roberts was on the bus as we were just speaking with him with police and being taken to an area with other witnesses of the scene.
We're continuing to look at the pictures here. You see a big police presence there on the left side of your screen and nearby where this incident just happened within the last hour.
I want to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI special agent, James Galliano, who is here with me in New York as we are learning more information as the scene in unfolding.
James, what's your initial read based on what we just heard from the eyewitness?
JAMES GALLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure. I think, Ana, what we're looking at right now is the western world's new normal. Now, in situations like this, you always want to presume terrorism until proven otherwise. But we also have to keep in mind that there was an incident that was very similar to this in Time Square recently where a crazed man drove up on a sidewalk and mowed down a bunch of pedestrians.
This clearly looks like terrorism to me with just the evidence in front of us right now and the details we have right now. And that's the way law enforcement has to be handling it.
Sun Tzu once said about warfare that there's no cons to conditions. Al-Qaeda and ISIS and Al-Shabab and other terrorist groups have adapted. They no longer go at the hard targets. They look at soft targets. If they can't get inside a concert hall to blow it up, they do it outside. If they can't get into a soccer stadium, they do it outside. And if they can use a vehicle as a weapon as opposed to improvised explosive device that requires them to buy bomb components that bring them under the scrutiny of law enforcement, that's what they're going to do.
CABRERA: And looking at, you know, just the last year or so, we've seen several incidents in which a vehicle was weaponized in a terror attack. We don't know what we have here right now. But we are learning that several people were injured by a vehicle as the police are now responding to the scene on London Bridge. And, again, just what we're learning from this eyewitness, he described it as it appeared that this vehicle was aiming specifically for the pedestrians. We don't know how is behind the wheel. He was not able to describe what that person look like, where they were focused, what they were doing, where they ended up going, following this incident.
But let me just go through a couple of these previous attacks. We know most recently April 7th of 2017, this year, just a couple of months ago, at least four people were killed when a truck drive in the pedestrians on a busy street near Stockholm, Sweden. The month before, a man drove an SUV into a crowd in the sidewalks in Westminster Bridge in London also killing four people. That was at the time London's deadliest terror attack in more than a decade. And then of course, we had Manchester that just happened less than two weeks ago, a concert bombing, that was a terrorist incident.
So people are on edge right now, James Galliano. And as we're watching this, we don't want to heighten anybody's sense of fear, but this seems to be a very serious situation.
[18:10:06] GALLIANO: Sure. The pattern or the paradigm seems eerily similar to what we've seen recent as you just outlined. I think one of the things that we need to keep in mind is a lot of these folks that are conducting these acts, if this proves to be a terrorist attack, they don't have to travel to Syria anymore. They don't have to go to Iraq, they don't have to go to Afghanistan to a trainee camp.
They open up their laptop, they get on, they watch some Jihadi propaganda and they become radicalized. And then they don't need to go a gun store to buy a weapon that's going to require a background check or anything that's going draw attention to law enforcement, they just got to get a vehicle. And then commit themselves to doing what appears that have happened here which is to find a crowded place where people are unsuspecting and plowing through a group of pedestrians and try to kill as many as you can. That appears to be what this is.
CABRERA: Would there be typically a high security presence in a bridge like this?
CABRERA: This is obviously a well know terrorist -- or tourist I should say destination, London Bridge, so famous, right?
GALLIANO: Well, I spend 20 of 25 years in New York City and I can tell you right now that are hyper focus from the counter terrorism perspective was on Landmarks, whether it's Wall Street or the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the George Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel. It's the same thing in London, in the U.K. and London Bridge is one of their -- its like Big Ben or the Royal Palace, it's one of the most iconic Landmarks there are.
So, remember when they do this, when the terrorist select a target they want to be able to maximize the carnage but they want the impact to be even bigger because they are going after a western icon. And that's what London Bridge is.
CABRERA: We have Fred Pleitgen, who is joining us on the phone in route to the scene right now on London Bridge that is at this moment filled with police cars and ambulances responding to what appears to be some kind of and incident that is how they are describing it. The police in this area tweeting out here, "Dealing with an incident on London Bridge, when we have more information we will update this Twitter feed".
They do say there are officers on scene as they are continuing to now investigate exactly what happened. We know that there are number eyewitnesses who were loaded into a bus and are being transported now to do interviews with the police who are there on scene. Fred Pleitgen, are you able to describe for us what you are seeing in that area? Or are you still in route?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, 'm still on route but I fairly close now and there's a lot of police that are sort of moving to that area. You can see a lot of police cars, you know, marked police cars but also unmarked police cars as well sort of converging towards that area.
I'm not too far away now and, you know, the traffic is getting a lot more because that area down there will be completely blocked as the eyewitness said before. But we do see a very, very, very much heighten police presence here on the street here but especially cars that are just, you know, flashing by us right now, police cars, towards that area. So you can really feel how the police was reacting to all these, and just the amount of forces that they are pulling into that area and I think that that's something that we're all able to see on these pictures that we're getting.
Just the amount of ambulance, the amount of police cars that moved into that area so very quickly, and that's one of the things about London. And they don't really -- on normal days too much of a large police presence but then something happens they do react very, very quickly, and that certainly is what's going right now. Especially with these unmarked police cars that all of a sudden pooping out of nowhere then also moving in towards that area.
So it's very clear as the London Police have said that they are dealing with a very, very serious incident, possibly also a mass casualty incident as well judging by the amount of ambulances that we've seen passed us, as we're en route to the scene here. Again, coming very, very close and you can really feel how in this area right now law enforcement and emergency services are really converging on this are and moving towards the place that's now of course cordoned off after that incident took place which is getting a massive amount of forces in there as fast as they can, Ana.
CABRERA: Fred Pleitgen, stay with me. We are just getting confirmed that there has been stabbing at a restaurant near London Bridge, two men entered a restaurant this is in the Borough Market close to London Bridge and stab two people inside according to an eyewitness. Now, the customers inside sheltered in the basement and police have arrived at the scene. How close do you know is the Borough Market from London Bridge?
PLEITGEN: Yeah. It's really very, very close. I would say it's, you know, maybe 70 to 80 yards away there from London Bridge. So this is something a few steps took place almost exactly where that first incident took place.
[18:15:03] So, I mean at this point in time, we don't know whether or now this stabbing is related to the incident with the van. But it certainly seems highly unlikely that something like that -- an incident like that would take place so close to where a van had just rammed into a lot of people without those two events being related.
So it is very certainly a possibility and, you know, as we call the eyewitness that we had on floor was also saying that he heard something going on that he believe may have been something like gunshots coming from the Borough Market. Again, we don't know whether or not that is related however now that we have confirmed that there was another incident and another ambulance coming by here. There was also an incident in the Borough Market, it certainly seems like that that possibly might be related, and again, I mean I have to tell you right now, it's remarkable to see how many fire trucks, ambulances and police cars are going down to that area.
So obviously the authority is here, you know, which unfortunately had to deal so many time in the past already, with incident similar to this, with mass casualty event that essentially could be terrorism. But that they are, you know, very good in dealing with event and respond very, very quickly.
CABRERA: I want to bring in Tom Fuentes our law enforcement analyst who has been with us on the phone from the beginning. Excuse me, I just learn he is now with us, so let me ask you, James Galliano, since you're here, we're hearing now about this potential stabbing, eyewitness has say at least two people were stabbed in this Borough Market not far from London Bridge.
We're hearing from the eyewitness on London Bridge that there were several people who were mowed over by a van. We also hear from that same eyewitness there were sounds of gun fire. As you're putting these different pieces together from a law enforcement perspective, how do you handle a situation where it sounds like there could be multiple scenes?
GALLIANO: Sure. Well, to understand this, this is the model that we're seeing right now where there is one event and that first event could either be a distraction or it could be a mass casualty event. Which this appears to be both, then while law enforcement, while their vision, while their focus is on the actual site that's when a second or third tertiary site occur.
And there are two schools of thought here, one is that sometimes a terrorist want to have the responding law enforcement folks, the first responders get caught up in another secondary divisor, secondary attack, and another is just the distraction itself that allows them then to work unimpeded in a second location. Hard to say this early in a process, Ana, but it looks text book. CABRERA: Walk me through the priorities of the investigators right now.
FUENTES: Absolutely. OK, the steps are like this. First of all crisis resolution, stop the laws of life, stop the damage to property. OK, those two things first and foremost that's crisis resolution.
The consequence management pieces, the second piece. What if there was some chemicals used, or there is unexploded bombs somewhere else? Those are things that you can basically set up a perimeter, contain the scene and then work it slowly methodically.
And third and no less important is to make sure that you collect all the human intelligence and all the signal intelligence. Meaning if there is any video cameras that are set up, if there is eyewitnesses to it, any of those things you can piece together to put together a basically, the pieces to the puzzle to help solve this. Solving the crime is secondary. We're going to get these guys. That's what we do.
The first thing is, is to make sure there are no more events in that area and there are no more other events in the surrounding area that this event was used as a distraction.
CABRERA: Would you be worried there are multiple suspects out there?
FUENTES: Absolutely. Even though the radicalization process can take one disenfranchised, disaffected youngster in their parent basement that they want to go out Jihad, generally speaking in the patterns that we've seen of reason there has to be some type of net behind that person, whether it's financial, emotional support, whatever it is.
CABRERA: So when you were listening to the eyewitness who was describing the scene, who was talking with us, Mark Robert. Was there anything that he said in particular that gave you like that light bulb moment of this is what we're dealing with?
FUENTES: Yes. When I heard him describe there was a 5 or 10 minute period between the time that the vehicle careered widely and plowed into a group of pedestrians to the gun fire. Now this is Britain, they have Draconian gun law, so it would be very unlikely that the citizen that got over the car, Good Samaritan says hey I'm going to go ahead and engage the subject.
So it's one or two things, either law enforcement had already gotten on the scene and engaged this terrorist, or secondarily, whether or not the terrorist decided after killing as many people with the vehicle as possible he or she had weapon and decided to get out and engage more people and cause more casualties.
[18:20:06] CABRERA: And I'll just our viewers up to speed who are just joining us right now. 6:20 here in the East and it's 11:20 in London, within the last hour we understand there was an incident on London Bridge in which there was a van, as described by an eyewitness that came at a high rate of speed, careening wildly back and forth from side to side plowing into people who are on the bridge at that hours, bystanders who were right there.
And we have Nick Robertson who is close to the bridge. I want to bring him into the conversation. Nick, walk us through what you're seeing and what you are learning?
NICK ROBERTSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the moment we're just seeing a like of people literally -- we've just seen a line people literally running away from the scene, very, very scared. A group of young men, there's an ambulance leaving the scene with police vehicle. What happened just up to speed, that's where London Bridge is, that where a van as believed to have driven in to and injured a number of people on the bridge, also reports stabbing.
What we can see from here, the police have closed the road, let step out in the road a little bit, so we can get slightly better view. The direct of the traffic, to stay away from this area, there's a lot anxious people around here I've seen as I've been driving up to this area. Seen a lot of people being -- people who are in night clubs, people who are in pubs, they moved out of the area.
And I think we see the police come up, the street at the moment, the fluorescent jacket of police officer clearing the street. At the movement it is unclear precisely what happened on London Bridge, but the police are advising people to stay away, they're locking the area down, they're clearing the area route, they're moving more police in, you know, as I was driving down here. There's a lot of police activities that essentially blocking London as we approach here.
CABRERA: Nick, we obviously want you to stay safe but what is going around, you are people in a panic, is that the sense there?
ROBERTSON: There is a sense of panic and a sense of the situation is not fully under control. The people that run away before was scared of something, it wasn't clear what they were scared of, a small fight broke out behind me over here. It's hard to know precisely what's -- why the people are reacting that way, of course it's late on Saturday night here, it must be close to 11:00. In this area there's a lot of bars, a lot of clubs, a lot of people out drinking. So that's going to add to the confusion for the police.
But even the police here really -- it's only a tiny handful of police to this location. They seemed to be running around, not quite clear at the moment what they are trying to do and what streets they are trying to close. So I'm standing, more people are still exiting this area here, let me see if I can talk to them.
Guys, did you come out of -- down the London Bridge?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of.
ROBERTSON: What -- tell me what was happening, what did you see?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
ROBERTSON: What about you sir, what did you see?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw by -- they have poke to street and is now -- it's gone now.
ROBERTSON: Thank you. So as you can see --
CABRERA: Nick Robertson, we will -- we'll let you try to talk to some of the folks there continue to take in the scene, stay with us. I'd love to come to you but we are getting new reports right now of gun fire at Borough Market. Again reports of gun fire at Borough Market right now, not far from London Bridge.
Also just this coming from the Metropolitan Police verified Twitter account saying "As well as London Bridge officers have also responded to an incident in Borough Market, we have armed police at the scene." Now that tweet also coming moments after we learned that an eyewitness inside a restaurant in Borough Market said that a couple of people had been stabbed inside a restaurant in that Borough Market and people are taking cover.
So there could be multiple scenes right now that London Police are responding to, again London Bridge was the initial scene of a van careening into several people who are on the bridge. And now there is secondary area Borough Market where we understand police are responding to that they area.
They have confirmed they have armed-police at the scene, and report coming from Borough Market of gun fire being heard in that area. Again, we have our Nick Robertson and Fred Pleitgen who are working to get more information now on the scene of this incident with multiple police cars responding right now. We are still trying to get details, police are not calling this a terrorist attack but we have James Galliano here with me in New York.
[18:25:00] And James you say that the approach when you're going to a situation with multiple casualties and given back rub in the environment we are in, they would be approaching this as if it were a terrorist attack?
GALLIANO: Ana, even in New York when there's a gas main explosion, until you can say definitively beyond a 100 percent no doubt that it's a gas explosion, we treat these as terrorist events now, anything, infrastructure damage, car backfiring.
In an abundance of caution, we always presumed that it would be terrorism and then we work backward from that. As we're getting more and more bits and pieces of details coming in here, it clearly looks like just the typical, prototypical template of somebody who possibly was radicalized and inspired and was living in London or living in the U.K. somewhere and decided that they were going to act out on behalf of a terrorist group. That's my presumption right now.
And, again, as you caution before, we always have to look at these things, we have to weigh all aspects of it before we jumped in a conclusions. But in the 21st century, this being our new normal in the western world, we have to presume terrorism.
CABRERA: Fred Pleitgen is also on scene now. And, Fred, fill us in with what you are seeing, where exactly you are, what you were learning?
PLEITGEN: Hi, Ana. You can see here some people apparently evacuating the area here. So people running away from that area unclear why, whether that person there for instance is injured that's running away now. But we have seen the police. I want to zoom back and go back over there. I'll get out of your way for a second now.
You can see that there's a gigantic police presence back there just about -- say about 70 to 80 yards down the road with a lot of police officers on the scene there. And, again, we've seen people again and again running out of that area.
And, Ana, a couple of minutes ago, I would say about 10 minutes ago, there was several loud bangs that we heard here in the area. Now, we're seeing police back here. I'm not sure how much you can see that running towards the scene also apparently moving fairly quickly. Those are armed police officers back there that are moving into that scene right now, again, about 70 to 80 yards from where we are right now. Still securing the scene and still also getting people out of that area.
It was just a couple minutes ago when we went to air from right here that we did see people -- several people evacuate the area. Again, we heard about five or six loud bangs, not clear what that was, whether that was gunfire, whether that might have been stun grenades or something like that. But we certainly did hear that take place.
So, certainly, it seems as though whatever happened here that there may potentially still be something active going on in that area because you do have the police here and the police, I have to say -- and I wouldn't say they're edgy, but they certainly are very concentrated at this point, still evacuating people out of the area.
And, you know, we keep talking about the Borough Market where that stabbing incident took place and we zoom that a little bit. You see that very large building known as The Shard. It's around that area. So that's about 300 yards from where we are right now. So all of us in fairly close proximity. We are very, very close to London Bridge.
And we zoom that, you can see there's more police that are now being sort of brought into that area. That's a scene that, you know, we've had here for the past half hour, so 45 minutes since that incident happened. As obviously the offices, they are trying to come to grips with what has happened here.
Again, they're saying they're responding to a very serious incident and certainly looking at the way the police are conducting themselves right now. That is absolutely true. They certainly are making clear to any sort of pedestrians who are out here they need to leave as fast as possible.
We've seen some people run away. We've seen some people who are actually pushed out of that cordoned area by the police as well. They are very, very serious about what happened here tonight, very serious about conducting their work, getting all the civilians out, moving in as many forces as they can.
And, again, that includes the regular police, that includes armed police, the so-called flying squads that they had here. We had seen police armed with automatic weapons as well, but that of course also includes first responders, emergency medical personnel as well as the fire department. So a very, very large incidents that's taking place here in fairly central London here tonight and again a lot of the authorities here on the scene, Ana.
CABRERA: How far from where you are is London Bridge and then put that into perspective from there to this Borough Market area?
PLEITGEN: Yes. OK, yes, yes, absolutely, Ana. So I'll get out of your way again for a little bit. And you'll see the police cordon right there and I would say maybe about 70 to 80 yards more down the road. That's where you have London Bridge. So a very, very close to the river right here.
[00:29:58] And then if we zoom out a little bit, you see that very tall building, that's The Shards. It's one of the sorts of iconic high-rise buildings here in London, a fairly new building. That's around where the Borough Market is. So that's apparently where that stabbing incidents took place. So we're actually very, very close to the scene of all this.
And this area, you know, at this time tonight, has a lot of people who were out here. When I was driving out here, you saw large crowd of people going in the other direction. So there were certainly many, many people are walking around this area. But another unmarked police car going out behind us, it's where the sound is all but difficult right now.
But you can see a lot of people who are evacuating that area. So this area is quite full. There's a lot of people who were out here. There were a lot of people who are out there tonight. This would have happen around maybe, I would say, 10:15, 10:30 at night so just as people are, you know, gearing up to go out on the weekend of course on a Saturday night in London, it's always very, very busy when this incident took place.
And if you look down here, you can see that there, you know, there's not really any sort of corners, there's not any sort of pillars or anything that could have held up a van or something that might want to plow into people. And it was interesting, you know, I was listening to the eyewitness that you had on earlier who was saying that this fence seem to be gearing, seem to be going very, very fast, seems to be moving in very quickly and then at some point get a bus or a bus station, that certainly seems to be only thing that could hold up such a car in a crowded area like that.
And now, Ana, let me just show you, we have a lot of police officers who are coming down now. There's a big detachment of what seems to be police on motorcycles that are coming through right now. And that's just goes to show you just how seriously the London police is taking this incident. That's been the scene on my entire way coming out here and it certainly been the scene ever since we got here as well as more and more forces are pouring in.
And at this point in time, we don't know whether or not the police might still be looking for a suspect, or whether or not they apprehended those people who stabbed the two people at that restaurant or someone else might still be on the loose. But certainly the gist that we're getting from the police down here in the way that they're conducting themselves is that this is still a very, very fresh incident and unclear whether or not this is all still active, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Fred Pleitgen, stand by and make sure to flag us when you have additional information from where you are.
We have just learned, the President of the United States has been briefed on this incident. He's aware that there's some kind of incident police are responding to, again, on London Bridge. A lot of police presence there.
There's also another incident that London police have confirmed that they are responding to in the Borough Market. Eyewitnesses in the Borough Market area tell us there was a stabbing inside a restaurant. We have some new pictures, images coming in from inside that restaurant taken by eyewitnesses. Let me put those up guys and give our viewers a look at that.
You can see here, people on the grounds. We heard from an eyewitness inside that restaurant that there were two people at least who were stabbed and that the rest of people inside that restaurant huddled to try to stay safe.
Again, the Metropolitan police tweeting as well as London Bridge officers have responded to an incident in Borough Market. We have armed police at the scenes. Fred Pleitgen reported hearing what sounded like large bangs. We also heard from an eyewitness who was on the bridge when a van came careening over at a high rate of speed, plowing into several people. He also reported hearing what sounded like gunshots shortly after that van incident.
I want to bring in Calem Curry (ph) who witnessed the attack on London Bridge.
Calem, can you walk us through what you saw?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Ana. Yes. So we actually leave Borough Market before the stabbing incident happen. So we are walking towards London Bridge, that's where the closest metro to the station is to the London Bridge. As we are walking towards the station, we saw a car and we saw a few bodies being flipped into the air.
(Inaudible) a police came in a few seconds later, emergency came quite quick. So, you know, quite a quick process. We are all evacuated to the kind of the third metro station. So, we dived (ph) quickly, the police stand very quickly back into the area. And we told the officer, most of us were able -- and the guards, we were able to get off the area actually the stabbing incident happen as soon as we got into the metro.
So a little bit scary because you kind of just saw people flying up and then heard sort of gunshots when we are walking away from the bridge. And we were on the north side of the bridge. The incident kind of happened to the south side.
CABRERA: OK. So you, Calem, you were on the north side of the bridge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CABRERA: What made you walked towards the bridge? You said there had been another incident just before that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, the Borough Market incident happened about a few minutes ago. We just find out now.
[18:35:04] We are walking towards just before the first incident of the guy in a car who was coming screening down the street process and then hit a few -- or hit a few pedestrians -- they said he hit quite a few. I know there's a few bodies that was thrown not over the water, thank God, but hit them and if they died, the side of the barrier.
CABRERA: Now, you saw this vehicle, can you describe it for us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It was a block, everyday car, old car. I mean (inaudible), but London is very busy city. So, I mean, we are walking down and the car was about, maybe about a kilometer away from us and we saw some bodies flying up. So it was -- it was just basic for the incident, I don't know how you explain it, but yes. Just a basic car that most Londoners would have, middle class Londoner would have, driving in London.
CABRERA: Calem, with me right now and James Galliano, he's a CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI supervisory special agent. He too has a question for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
GALLIANO: Calem, its James Galliano. Can you actually see the vehicle right now because the concern from law enforcement's perspective would be, is it loaded with explosives and have the police built a large perimeter around that? Can you tell if any of that kind of activity is going on or if the police already moved the vehicle and basically rendered it safe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, no I can't be we were evacuated as soon as the incident happened, quite quit. Most boroughs have security in different boroughs, and this is quite a high security because it's in London. So, sorry I can't actually answer that at the moment because we were kind of pushed out to the safer place, until I get home as soon as possible.
CABRERA: Where are you right now and what are you seeing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I'm in the financial district. I got back to my house just quick, once the incident happened.
CABRERA: Now did you talk to police as well about what you witnessed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because we just -- a little bit kind of worried and a bit of panic, there's a lot of panic around us. So, kind of top of mind was, get out there and run for safety.
GALLIANO: So Calem, it's James Galliano again, have the police had an opportunity to talk to you because I know that of all the witnesses or prospective witnesses that would be in the area, they're not going to want you folks to get too far away because each of you is going to provide a particular piece of information or evidence, they'll put this complex puzzle together. Have you spoken to any law enforcement yet or is this still too early?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a little bit early at the moment, because the second attack, that happened about 10 minutes ago. So there's been kind of -- there's been kind of a warning for the locals to stay indoors. But I have a police station down the road that I could go to, just give a witness, to give a report this evening.
CABRERA: So Calem, just back up for a moment for me and try to envision exactly what you're describing. You see a vehicle, we heard from another eyewitness that it was a van. If you can confirm, you know, either way as we quickly put the puzzle pieces together here, did you see the vehicle actually hit people or did you just the body flying in the air?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I didn't see -- I saw some body flying in the air.
CABRERA: You said that you --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there were quite a few cars that was quite close to each other.
CABRERA: There were a number of cars on the street at the same time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, on the bridge.
CABRERA: On the bridge. And this vehicle, was it hitting other cars as well or just people who were walking?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the pedestrian.
CABRERA: And did you see where it came to a rest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because we've turned around at that stage.
CABRERA: So you turned around, and did you start running, did you turn around because you are panicking? What was going through your mind?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I need to get out of this area and be far away from the bridge.
CABRERA: So by the time you saw these people flying in the air, there were already authorities on the scene?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were people nearby, yes. So most stations have at the attack, there's about quite a few security or police people stand at most metros around London.
CABRERA: So there were -- there are already police officers who would have been at the bridge at the time this is happening?
[18:40:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and also a police station close by in the London Bridge.
CABRERA: OK. OK. And just to confirm, if you don't know, if you weren't there, do you -- I just want to get a sense, you also mentioned this other incident in the Borough Market, do you know of that incident directly or are you just -- you just heard about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Literally I got up in the metro, it just popped on my news notification that the second incident has hit.
CABRERA: OK, so you were not connected to that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry about that.
CABRERA: No, no, I just wanted to make sure. I'm wondering also Calem, while we had you here, when you talked about seeing people in the air and when you talk about seeing this vehicle going very quickly, do you have sense of just how many people were hit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest I don't know how many were hit. I did see there was more than two bodies that I saw fly up. But it could have been just two but it could have been up to five or six people. But there were definitely -- other people that have also seen it, they say they thought there was about 20 people that could have been involved -- could have been hit by the van.
CABRERA: Oh my goodness. OK Calem Curry, thank you so much for joining us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
CABRERA: Apologies for what you've been experiencing this evening. I want to just bring our viewers up to speed of what we're learning as we trying to put together the pieces of exactly what's going on in London this evening. We can tell you that within the last hour or so there was an incident on London Bridge that is where police are currently responding where you see these live images, lots of flashing lights, lots of police presence and ambulance presence, where according to an eyewitness, Mark Roberts, who was nearby he saw a ban coming across the bridge at a high rate of speed swerving going back and forth knocking into several people he said.
We heard from him and this eyewitness, Calem, who told us that they saw people who were flying into the air after being hit by this vehicle. The van as describing by Mark Roberts he said carried on and eventually came to a rest that would appear to be a bus, or bus stop. It was still on the bridge. In the meantime we understand police are responding to a second incident of some sort, also in the borough market close to London Bridge.
We've confirmed according to eyewitness on scene a restaurant at the Borough Market there were people who were stabbed. What we're hearing from another eyewitness inside a restaurant there, this is an Elliot's restaurant who tells us they were at the front of the restaurant when suddenly a load of people started running up the street from Borough Market.
I'm reading that someone said, what is going on, and one of the people running said, there is a man with the knife up there and he is coming this way. There was complete panic as everyone ran to the back of the restaurant and crouch down trying to hind themselves from view. A man suddenly appeared in the restaurant with a knife, some people in the restaurant believe there may have been another man but it was so chaotic it was hard to tell.
The man with a huge knife according to this witness stabbed a waitress who was hiding behind a partition and stabbed her in the neck. He stabbed another man in the back and then he ran out of the restaurant, again, this is coming to us from an eyewitness involved in this secondary incident, unclear at this moment if these two incidents are connected, the incident on London Bridge and this incident in Borough Market. We do know police are responding to both areas.
Police telling us there are armed police in the scene and Fred Pleitgen describing hearing large back sounds, and an eyewitness saying he too heard what he believed were gun shots. We now know the White House has been briefed on the incident. I have James Galliano here with me. I am curious what the FBI would now be doing in coordination with the White House National Security team as they are all responding to what appears to be a very very serious incident happening in London.
GALLIANO: Ana, it's no secret there's an intelligence alliance in the western world and it's made up the United States, the U.K., New Zealand, Canada and Australia. We share all of our intelligence together. So I guarantee you right now in the situation room, in the White House, they are discussing with those other four entities.
The FBI has 80 overseas posts, global posts, we call our legal caches (ph), there's one in London. I guarantee you that the legal caches in London is in hit pocket right now, the senior law enforcement in London and they are sending back to the New York office who has that responsibility as well as the strategic intelligence operation center, the zoite (ph) the FBI headquarters in coordination.
[18:45:05] You could almost describe the activity right now is a beehive.
CABRERA: Wow. I want to bring in CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank joining in London. Paul, if these are coordination attacks, what do they tell you?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well the big question is if at this point, but the police response tells you everything here. That it's extremely, serously there's a lot of concern, the U.K. have been on heightened alert since the Manchester attack. The level was ramped up, the critical, the maximum level of that attack just a couple of weeks ago.
Now, severe again, but they've been very worried about, they're very wide since the Westminster in March, in which five people were killed. And you remember, another attack on the bridge in Westminster, that was also a vehicle ramming, which this may well be tonight and one person not accomplished back in March.
We've seen these kind of scenes play out all too many times on the streets of western cities over the last year. Back in July 86 people were killed in Nice, a truck driving, ramming incidence attack. And then just back in December you have 12 people killed in Berlin. It's very, very difficult to defend against these kinds of tactics.
What we have not heard yet from police is that this is considered a terrorist incident, but I can tell you that this is being investigated very very urgently right now. This -- it would appear a multi incident event that is going on, on the streets of London. No invitations at this point that this is over. They're very, very wide, it would appear that there is still an ongoing situation on the streets at London.
This all coming at a time where Britain is about to vote in a general election. That has also created a concern that the terrorist or terrorist group might strike. And of course it is also the holy Islamic month of Ramadan and so groups like ISIS, they've been putting out advice urging to their followers to launch attacks during this period as we've seen a surge at that time.
Put all that together you have a very elevated environment right now in the U.K. but just in the last few months, even after Westminster, that we've seen a number of terror plot brought in London. Everybody will want to know, did an attack tonight. We don't know yet whether this was terrorism but certainly when you look at the police response and you listen to the eyewitness account, that's many of the hallmarks.
CABRERA: So you're seeing hallmarks of potential terrorism in this, what are the hallmarks specifically, if you were to pinpoint them Paul?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, the report, and these are very early reports. That there was some kind of ramming attempt on London Bridge, that would have attack, ISIS, enabled ISIS in five plots over the last year on both sides. And so that's one of the hallmarks. These reports of stabbing, again, that we saw in the Westminster attack back in March.
ISIS have been telling their followers in the west that they first duty, attacks, but then to carry on, not to stop, and to kill as many people, wound as many people as possible with secondary weapon. So, it certainly fits the ISIS label, they would be premature to say if there's any link whatsoever to implement terrorism at this point because this is a very rapidly unfolding situation, we're just getting very, very early eyewitness accounts. And I got to tell you in these situations, often the narrative changes from hour to hour, some reports of potentially multiple attack, but we do not yet know that. It's possible that there's just one person involved here. And, you know, in these sorts of situations, we're told more by the police, we always have to assume there are also possible alternative explanations even though that seems pretty unlikely given the information that is coming.
CABRERA: Let me bring in CNN international correspondent Clarissa Ward, she at our London Euro. Clarissa, what are you learning from your sources?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we're just actually on Twitter looking now, the Metropolitan police who have been keeping everybody updated to the best of their ability with these incidents, are now reporting a third incident.
[18:50:08] They said officers are now responding to an incident in the Vauxhall area. Vauxhall is part of London, quite far away, completely separate from Borough Market and London Bridge which are kind of in the east end of London. Vauxhall is in the south of London. We don't know anymore about this Vauxhall incident, what it is, what's going on, whether anyone has been hurt but they have just announced that on their Twitter account.
Now the two areas, London Bridge and Borough Market are distinctive not just because they're both in East London but because these are very popular places for young people, very vibrant nightlife, a lot of restaurants, a lot of bars. These areas would be very crowded on a Saturday night with people out just having a good time enjoying their evening. And I think as you heard, Paul, kind of elucidate there, in many ways this does bear the hallmarks of some attacks that we've seen but at this stage police are not --
CABRERA: OK, Clarissa, I'm sorry to interrupt you but we want to go to Nick Robertson, he's on the ground and there's action going on. Nick, what can you tell us?
ROBERTSON: Yes. Riot police have just rushed through the area. They appear to have arrested one month as they rush away from the Borough Market where the attack took place. They were shouting and screaming making everyone in the area run away, at the same time police, and these are the first armed police I've seen on the scene here this evening, armed police were coming in down the street racing towards the scene, screaming and shouting at people to get out of the way.
The police are very tense, very nervous right now, it's not clear why they had to rush in the armed police at this stage almost an hour, more than hour now after the event happened. But the scene where we are, which is just at the back of the south on the south side of Borough Market where the attack took place is a very frenetic and hectic, we literally had to run the lost 200 yards to get to get out of that area. It's not like the Westminster attack in London with the police slowly moved the cordon back, these were riot clad police officers charging, all the civilians who were standing around, there weren't many people, a handful of reporters like us are then, armed police.
And when I'm talking about armed police these are police in helmets, body armers, automatic weapons, not the sort of police you see on the streets of London everyday. These seem to be very combat ready officers moving into the area where that attack took place. A very dynamic and fluid situation here right now.
CABRERA: Let me read you -- Nick stay with me, let me read what we are just getting in terms of more information coming from the London Metropolitan Police. They just twitted an update with regard to that ongoing situation on London Bridge. They say that around 5:08 Eastern Time, it was 10:08 there locally officers responded to reports of a vehicle collision with pedestrian on London Bridge. It goes on to say officers have then responded to reports of stabbing in Borough Market, armed officers responded and shot have been fired.
They also just twitted officers are now responding to an incident in the Vauxhall area which we heard Clarissa Ward also referring to. So three separate zones, Nick, put it into perspective, one, where you are, where you just saw all of that activity, are you closest to the bridge, to the Borough Market to Vauxhall area? And how are those three spots connected?
ROBERTSON: Well, I'd say a few hundred yards from the Borough Market. And on the other side of the Borough Market just for me would be London Bridge. We did see an incident happen here, it's not clear if this is the one in Vauxhall that's being referred to. The incident we saw were riot clad police officers taking control, taking hold of a man, they have his hands behind his back. They then led him away. They led him to a corner, held him in a corner.
And then about 10 officers came around and surrounded him before he was taken away. What the armed police officers were responding to, which seemed to be all happening at the same time from different directions wasn't clear. But the armed officers weren't static. They were running through the streets in the direction of Borough Market. But again, not clear precisely what they were responding to, but from where we are, Borough Market is a few hundred yards behind us, and that was a scene just in the past few minutes of frenetic activity.
Police officer again coming to us now asking us to move back.
CABRERA: And did you get a good look at the person that they surrounded?
ROBERTSON: A man, 20 to 30s, light build, maybe 5'6' 5'8" maximum. Dark hear. Just collar length dark hear. I couldn't see more than that. Just one person, both hands firmly tied behind the back.
[18:55:11] CABRERA: OK. So we're going to get more information obviously about that individual. Now, have you been able to talk to anybody there on the scene, Nick, who was involved in any one of these incidents directly?
ROBERTSON: To somebody who is involved directly no, a secure officer who was in the vicinity, he told me that he couldn't tell me anything. But officers we're trying to talk to here haven't been able to give clear instructions. The only information that continues to come from the police is for us to continue to move away, to continue to push back.
The police is telling us, police officer is telling us, so the situation has changed, that there are fire armed police officers in the are, and that's why we're being moved back. He doesn't say where those fire armed officers are, but the reason we're being told that we're moving back right now is because there are active fire armed officers in the area.
Sir, is that an indication there's a gunman on the loose sir?
ROBERTSON: Thank you sir. We need to keep walking back, we're being told. I'm not able to confirm whether or not there are armed individuals in the area other than the police.
CABRERA: OK, Nick Robertson, we will let you get to a safe place. Please be careful out there and please bring us an update as soon as you have additional information. But most importantly, do stay safe out there.
Joining us now, CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, and also with us CNN global affairs analyst Kim Dozier.
So, Tom, if this incident, a third incident, now, what do you think they could be dealing with?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well one things, Ana, that always comes up in these types of incidents are that sometimes plainclothes police officers running down the street are spotted by the public and they call in if there's another person with a gun, another suspicious person, but it turns out, it's not someone connected to the original incident but possibly a law enforcement officers. So at this point we don't know what the basis of the call is that caused the police to go running in the direction of where the call was located. So we'll find that out hopefully pretty soon.
CABRERA: We learned that there is an incident in the London Bridge, on London Bridge where there's a van that rammed into a number of people. Eyewitnesses say that they saw five or six people who were mowed down, were on the ground not moving, there were people who were thrown into the air at this van went careening across London Bridge, in the meantime there's a second incident, a stabbing that police have confirmed now that happened at a restaurant in the Borough neighborhood. And now they say they're responding to a third incident in Vauxhall area, they also confirmed shot have been fired, Tom.
Do you get the sense that is very much still an active situation?
FUENTES: Sure, until you resolve all of these different issues it's absolutely an active situation. But we don't know from the stabbing incident is that were multiple subjects involved and did they only apprehend one, and one or more other subjects fled and that's what the other officers are in pursuit of reports of where those other subjects might have gone?
We still don't know the status of the vehicle that started this whole thing. Were there any occupant still in the vehicle, are they able to confirm yet that the occupants were driver and passengers from that vehicle are the ones that went to the market and engaged in the stabbings that occurred there, and then at least one of them having been arrested at that location by the police. So, as of now, it's obviously the police are treating this still as an active situation.
They don't believe they have everybody in custody or they haven't confirmed that to the best of their satisfaction, and that's why Nick Robertson reporting that police running down the street toward the direction of the other report.
CABRERA: Kin Dozier with us. CNN global affairs analyst, Kim, I know you went to London previously when there was the other bridge attack that we heard a lot of people refer to the Westminster attack, that happened on March 22nd, and you've been in contact with folks there, law enforcement on the ground who are very much concerned about ISIS and other terrorist groups working in London and in England throughout the country.
KIN DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, one of the things that I've been watching for ever since that trip there was what is the British press saying about this incident. Because British officials at that time were telling me that they've been in conversation with the media saying don't jump to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack, essentially because you don't want to give the terrorists credit for something before you actually know that it was actually linked to some sort of violent militant.