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Six Killed, 30 Wounded in London Terror Attacks. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired June 4, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Max Foster in London. This is CNN NEWSROOM. We have breaking news for you. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thank you for joining us.
It is 9:00 am here in London, where police have stepped up patrols on the streets in the wake of another terror attack in the British capital. We're expecting an update in about 15 minutes' time.
At least six people are dead, 48 others have been taken to hospital. The city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, condemned the attack but vowed London would stay strong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Today I'm appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would deliberately target innocent Londoners and bystanders enjoying their Saturday night.
There can be no justification for the acts of these terrorists. And I'm quite clear that we'll never let them win, nor will we allow them to cow our city or Londoners.
Just like terrorists are constantly evolving, finding new ways to disrupt us, harm us, attack us, the police and experts and all of us are finding new ways to keep us safe.
Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things that police and all of us need to do is make sure we're as safe as we possibly can be.
I'm reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not these safest global city in the world. But we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, the attacks began on London Bridge as a van ran down pedestrians. One witness says people went flying into the air; one person jumped into the River Thames to avoid the van. British media say this is the rental van from London Bridge. It drove toward nearby Borough Market. Witnesses said the attackers charged inside and started stabbing people.
Police ushered out patrons with their hands raised as a precaution. France's presidential office says French citizens were among the victims. We have this picture, which appears to show two of the assailants on the ground, wearing fake explosive vests.
Police say they shot and killed all three attackers. So far there's no claim of responsibility, though.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May is chairing the government's emergency security meeting. Her Conservative Party has suspended campaigning on Sunday. The Labour Party has done the same. The Conservative Party issued this statement.
"We'll review as the days go on and more details of the attack emerge."
The election though is just on Thursday. CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is at Downing Street. He joins us live.
So we'll expect some sort of update after that COBR meeting, which is where the latest intel will be delivered to the prime minister.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We will. We can expect the prime minister to be calm, to be reassuring, to communicate perhaps some of the details we'll hear updated from the police shortly.
But we can expect her to deliver a very strong and robust message against this act of terrorism.
What people will be listening for is, is this the end of it?
Can it be prevented?
Some of these questions just don't have answers at the moment, Max. But that is the sort of pressure that a prime minister has. Right now of course, she is gathering that information from those security chiefs, defense, intelligence, police and other key ministers around that key cabinet briefing -- Max.
FOSTER: In terms of the election campaign, (INAUDIBLE) has been suspended. But we're starting to hear that actually we shouldn't keep suspending normal life in light of these attacks. We should be carrying on as normal. Nigel Farage has just tweeted words to that effect.
What do you make of that?
ROBERTSON: And I think Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, communicated the same thing. Look, normal means what people become used to, what it becomes normal and not everyday, that's expectable in their lives. A year ago, people would not expecting already for a series of
terrorist acts. They had one here in March; another one just a couple of weeks ago and now this.
This is not the normal people want. But the message that our politicians here want to send to the terrorists who want to commit these acts is you will not stop us. You will not stop our democracy. You will not break our democracy. You will not make our democracy look weak.
And that means carrying on as if things are normal. Heightening security, yes. Doubling down on counterterrorism --
ROBERTSON: -- efforts, yes. Figuring out how to tackle this clearly growing and escalating issue that the country faces but not changing the way that the country lives and not changing the way the country lives, the crux of that, of course, the democratic process, the elections.
Perhaps in any other election cycle, at any other time, it may not -- it might have been possible to consider that. But as we continue to hear, Max -- and we've heard it a lot from the prime minister recently -- the Brexit negotiations that would determine the future of Britain's relationship with the European Union and the future it can enjoy in trade and business and other aspects with the rest of the world, that begins to be negotiated 11 days after the election on June the 8th.
There can be no holding up this democratic process, not because terrorists are attacking the people of Britain on their streets here but b there's an imperative to follow through with what the prime minister has called for, an election that she hopes will strengthen a hand in those talks but to have a hand and a strong voice at that table in Europe.
Because there's a finite amount of time. The prime minister triggered the Brexit negotiations on the 31st of March, the end of March. The clock runs for two years. She needs all the time in that process so this -- there are many reasons why this election cannot be held up. Yes, to stand up to terrorists but there are imperatives for this country at the negotiating tables in Brussels as well -- Max.
FOSTER: What did you make of the fact that it wasn't a sole attacker this time?
ROBERTSON: It's a step up. You have to look at it in that light. The Westminster Bridge, a single attack; at the Nice attack, a truck, single attacker; Berlin, single attacker in the truck, acted alone, inspired by ISIS and connected to Libya.
Yes, the attack in Manchester, a single person, it appeared, perpetrating the attack, at least believed to have a network behind him. Further evidence of that we can expect to hear in coming weeks and months. But this was three men acting together. We saw it in 2005, the attack on the 7th of July, that was four men acting together. They'd come from Northern England and two weeks later on the 21st of July, again, four men of East African origin, living in London. They worked together.
The signature that working together in a group has delivered, if you will, to the intelligence services is a bigger signature in the past, a bigger opportunity for counterterrorism officials to pick up that a group is planning to do something because they're talking to each other.
So, in this case here, it will raise questions if there was a group of three, if they were talking to each other.
Why wasn't it heard?
And we'll very likely hear again some of the issues that have come up in the recent past. The Westminster attacker for example, using the social media platform WhatsApp to communicate with somebody minutes before the attack, the police have said they may never know what he said in that communication because it's encrypted.
Now if these men are found to have been communicating through encrypted means, this will increase the pressure on social media companies, on these types of companies to provide intelligence services with a way to understand and know what is being said so there can be no secret channels for planning terrorism in this country.
That will be very strong. That's just one aspect of three people together. Three people together is getting more brazen -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, Nic, back with you as Theresa May comes out and speaks to the media gathered there. We assume that she will.
U.S. president Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeting about the attacks earlier, saying, "We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safety."
Then he said, "Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there. We are with you. God bless!"
That from the president. More in a moment.
FOSTER: The latest from here in London (INAUDIBLE) six people killed, 48 taken to the hospital following a back-to-back terror attack in London on Saturday night. Some of those victims were French nationals. Three suspected attackers shot and killed by police. So far, there's been no claim of responsibility.
Multiple victims were stabbed in a rampage through Borough Market. It's a busy area, teeming with shops and cafes, just moments earlier a vehicle had raced across nearby London Bridge, swerving and slamming into crowds of pedestrians.
London mayor Sadiq Khan says he is appalled and furious. And he called the attackers cowardly.
With me is Lord Brian Paddock. He's a former deputy assistant commissioner and police officer for more than 30 years.
And extraordinary to think that eight minutes after the callout, these guys were shot in a busy area. So amazing work done by the police tonight.
LORD BRIAN PADDOCK, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER AND POLICE OFFICER: The Metropolitan Police have armed response vehicles all over London, ready to respond 24/7 to this sort of incident.
So it was remarkable that they got there in that short period of time. Very quickly closed the situation down and made the situation safe.
These are very brave officers faced with a very difficult situation. They had to make a split second decision and they made the right decision.
FOSTER: We're expecting to hear from the commissioner in the next couple of minutes and that may happen while you're with us.
How does she address this because it does feel more like the same, dare I say?
PADDOCK: Well, the interesting thing here is there have been three attempted attacks very similar to this. One of them was actually stopped by the police before the person could do any harm because they had information from the family of that individual which actually stopped the event, any harm being done (INAUDIBLE) -- stopped him, of course, at the attack. So there is the potential to stop these attacks. We've seen that in one of these cases.
PADDOCK: But, of course, very difficult otherwise to predict what's going to happen.
FOSTER: And these very low-tech attacks, they're just so easily done.
Is it interesting to you that there were three people involved this time instead of a lone attacker?
PADDOCK: Well, we saw in 2005 with the 7th of July bombings there was a group of people, group of friends that got together and decided to plan an attack. Of course that attack and Manchester was a much more sophisticated attack using explosives.
But this is a very, very simple attack and it's very difficult to infiltrate that sort of group.
FOSTER: And there will be less intel on it as a result as well.
PADDOCK: Absolutely. They could be -- they could -- they might not even be communicating with each other by mobile phone or using an app. They might just be gathering together in a house and plotting it there. And in those circumstances, very little that the police and security services can do.
FOSTER: It does feel very similar to the Westminster attack the way they left the vehicle after driving into a crowd and continued the killing spree.
So are people being inspired by previous attacks here?
PADDOCK: It looks like a copycat. It's another London Bridge. It's another vehicle mowing down pedestrians and then leaping out of the vehicle and then attacking people with knives. It looks like a copycat. It's very unsophisticated.
But what we mustn't forget, these people are murderers. What we'll probably find, if the pattern repeats itself from before, these are people who were violent criminals before, that have become radicalized and use Islam as an excuse to carry on with their violent behavior.
FOSTER: So people looking after claims and responsibility, is that even relevant really?
PADDOCK: It's quite clear who is responsible. These murderous people, these people that are thugs, are responsible for the deaths and injuries of these people. Nobody else.
FOSTER: When they keep happening, these events, they feel less shocking.
Is that a worry to you?
PADDOCK: Well, I live about a 10-minute walk from where this attack happened. It doesn't feel less real to me for that. It's very close to home. Bear in mind, I was closer to the Westminster attack because I was in Parliament at the time.
So I don't think it's losing its impact. I think because there has been a series of attacks in a short space of time, people are going to be very anxious. But what needs to happen is people need to be very aware when they're in public places but they shouldn't be frightened to the extent that they give up their normal way of life.
FOSTER: I live outside London and last night people were saying they don't want to come to London.
What would you say to people like that? PADDOCK: Well, you're at very small risk of being involved in a terrorist attack, let alone being killed or injured as a result of one. And people should obviously be aware, as you might be if you're in a strange city, be aware of perhaps being -- wondering about whether you're going to be mugged, for example.
Be very aware of what's going on around you in a public place. And you will be safe.
FOSTER: OK, Brian, thank you very much, indeed.
Well, Isa Soares joins us now. She was texting with a friend who was in the middle of the attack.
Isa, talk us through it. I know it's been a difficult night for you.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was a horrifying experience to be completely honest with you, Max, but let me just, before I get to that, let me just give you the context of where I am in Borough Heights. (INAUDIBLE) move out of the way so you get to see where we are.
But we're still behind the cordon lines. You can see police van, lots of police still on the street just being cordoned off.
This is where it happened. Many, many bars down this High Street. Same if you were just behind the camera here. Look back and see about five or six police vans as well.
People were running through here yesterday. Busy area of Borough Market, many bars, many restaurants. People that were living in this area was all evacuated. Those in hotels, because it's very popular for tourists, too, they were told to leave.
And people were -- haven't been able to get back home, get inside their homes. That's why we saw overnight so many people applauding Londoners for offering, opening their doors and their homes to those who couldn't get inside.
But like you were saying, Max, I had the unfortunate experience of speaking to a friend of mine who was here in Borough Market. He was in a restaurant when the attackers arrived with knives, wielding knives in their hand. He was able to go and hide in the toilet.
Take a listen to what he experienced.
GARETH, EYEWITNESS: I was in a busy restaurant in the borough just off of High Street, just looking out into the street.
GARETH: All of a sudden, I heard a bang and then I looked out onto the street and then people started running down the street, then started entering the restaurants and locking themselves into restaurants across the street.
There was a bit of chaos and panic and fear in the restaurants as well because no one really knew what was going on. And I managed to stand up with (ph) a couple of friends, one who was heavily pregnant. And then glass started smashing.
We ran upstairs and to the toilet and then just as I looked down the stairs, a guy had come into the restaurant and then come with a big knife, looked like a machete. And then we -- I just grabbed my friends and dashed straight into the one cubicle with the four of us.
And we were quiet. We were probably in there for about an hour. I tried to contact some key friends on Facebook, trying to let people know to send the armed response unit there straight away.
And we were fearing for our lives. We were hearing banging noises, which we thought were gunshots and we thought it was game over for ourselves. Everything happened quite suddenly so I couldn't really identify anybody.
But it was a guy in a brown coat, wielding a big knife. And there was just lots of shouting and a lot of screaming. Obviously I was in -- on to your husband, just texting him not to call because then there was -- all of a sudden there was a deathly silence.
And then a girl screaming and crying, and one of them shouting, asking if there was anybody upstairs. And she said, "I don't know, I don't know."
And then basically I was talking to your husband the entire time, telling him to send the armed response unit right away; basically we were fearing for our lives and we think it was game over because we thought he was going to shoot through the door. And it was basically after -- and not --
GARETH: -- silence and in the one cubicle with four people, one heavily pregnant. She was due last week, basically, fearing for her life.
And the armed response unit came, which we weren't too sure whether the armed response unit or not or whether it is somebody else pretending to be them.
But I was -- and the fear of God into me when I actually had to open the door and to the -- and the response unit. But I looked and I saw it was fine. And then they took us all out.
There was blood in the restaurants, there was blood in the streets and the people clutching themselves, holding their necks with blood towels. Then we had to run about 100 meters, 150 meters, with a pregnant woman
of nine months, with probably about 50 police officers out. And it was extremely scary.
SOARES: Well, you'll be happy to hear that Gareth, the pregnant lady that was with him, along with two other people that were with him, they are well. They were seen at hospital, as you can imagine, absolutely shaken, Max.
But he is one of many people here in this area of London who feel they were completely terrorized by what Sadiq Khan calls these cowardly acts of terrorism -- Max.
FOSTER: Isa, just to point out to you that our cordon here has just been lifted. And you can see these crowds of people heading back to their hotels. The whole area was evacuated overnight, they just had to leave. Look at that, the guy still with his pajamas on, just shows the sort of panic that ensued in the city last night.
For you living in London, does it make you more concerned about your safety, this series of attacks that we have had?
SOARES: I think we'll all be asking ourselves that. I think it's because we had terrorist attacks before, Max, as you and I well know and Londoners well know. It's the fact, the frequency and how close they have been. Three attacks in the last three months in the U.K. alone.
So although we have always been told to be vigilant, to watch out for bags in trains and buses, et cetera, these sorts of attacks that we have seen similar to the ones we've seen in Nice, we saw in Berlin, where it's just very low-tech. Just men inside these vans and just hitting people, plowing into people.
That's something that is very, very shocking to people here because it's very hard to prevent. So although Londoners -- and we've heard from Sadiq Khan today -- many saying we will not be cowed by terrorism, there is no doubt I think that many will be shaken by somewhat has happened.
Whether people will be thinking twice of coming to London, that will remain to be seen, of course, but on this beautiful Sunday morning, although I've seen many people --
SOARES: -- some people cycling and some people running, there's no sense of normalcy as you would expect in London.
FOSTER: We're expecting to hear from Cressida Dick, the commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police.
What do you think she can do to reassure Londoners and tourists coming to London? SOARES: Yes, we're expecting to hear from the commissioner, Cressida Dick, in the next few minutes or so, I've been told. But no doubt trying as well what we -- the similar words we heard from mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, praising the services, the police, the services as well as hospital medical teams that were so quick to respond.
There were more than 40-plus doctors on the scene at London Bridge, treating those that had been plowed by this van, by these men but also police were so quick to respond, all of eight minutes.
So I think we'll be hearing similar words from the commissioner but also trying to reassure Londoners in particular that armed police will be on the ground, that more police will be deployed on the streets but also asking for people to continue to be vigilant because that's something that we have always been told.
And Londoners have always been very proud to be part of that, Max. So expect similar words. Hopefully, we get more of an update as well on those who have been injured, 48-plus people.
FOSTER: Yes. OK. Isa, they're slightly delayed, it seems. They were due to hold this press conference 10 minutes ago. But we'll bring that to you as soon as we have it. They have obviously got a huge amount to go through in terms of intelligence today. So we'll be back in a moment with that.
FOSTER: Breaking news for you out of London. After two terror attacks killed six people, the chaos all started with a van plowing into pedestrians on London Bridge. The commissioner is speaking now.
CRESSIDA DICK, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER: -- not see again. Obviously, my thoughts are with all of those affected, those injured and the families of those innocent people who died while out enjoying a Saturday night in our capital.
In the early hours of this morning, I visited one of the hospitals, where the injured are being treated. There I heard truly remarkable stories of extraordinarily brave actions by officers, on and off duty, who were first on the scene. I also heard of colleagues from other emergency services and members of the public who ran toward the danger as the incident unfolded.
[04:30:08] Many, many people risked their own safety to help others and to treat those seriously injured and, indeed, to confront the suspects involved.
It's clear to me that the courage of those people during and following the attack was extraordinary and I pay tribute to all of those that came to the aid of those in need during this dreadful attack and I'm sure helped to save lives.
As you know, our officers confronted the suspects and brought this terrible incident to a conclusion within eight minutes. It is now being confirmed, sadly, that seven members of the public have died; in addition, as you know, we believe three suspects are dead.
My current information is that 48 people have been injured and 48 people were indeed taken to hospital for treatment. Just to remind you, we were called at 10:08 pm last night initially to report that a vehicle had struck pedestrians on London Bridge. That vehicle continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market.
The suspects then left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed. The suspects were shot dead by armed officers. We believe that this incident is under control.
However, a large cordon remains in the area around London Bridge and Borough Market and there are many officers on scene as we need still to carry out a thorough search of the area to ensure that everyone has been accounted for and to make the whole area safe.
I do appreciate this has been a terrifying experience for many people and I would like to thank the people affected in that area for their forbearance as we carry out our work.
To anyone who is currently within the cordon, our advice is to stay inside and our officers will be in touch. If you are concerned, of course, contact us. London Bridge station and the Underground is also closed.
So for people who might be thinking of traveling to that area, I would ask that you still avoid the area if you possibly can.
This is a very fast-moving investigation. We have very significant resources deployed both to the investigation and to the visible patrols that people will be seeing as they wake up this morning. We will have increased patrols in many areas by the police and these will, of course, as you would expect, include armed officers.
There is an emergency number established for anyone who is concerned about their loved ones, who perhaps have not returned home and the casualty bureau number, to remind you, is 0800 096 1233.
Our priority now is to work with our colleagues in the National Counterterrorism Police Network and also with the intelligence agencies and other security services to establish more details about these individuals who carried out the attack and the background to it.
Finally, this is a very worrying time for people. I do understand that. I would ask people in London, Londoners and visitors, to remain calm. Please, of course, be very vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, anything at all or you're concerned about anyone at all, even if you think it is very insignificant, don't hesitate to contact us on the antiterrorism hotline: 0800 789 321.
Your information could be a vital piece of information. Thank you very much. I'll take a couple of questions. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
DICK: You will have observed that we were able to respond to this incident extremely quickly, within literally eight minutes; we were already at a very high level of alertness. Severe means that an attack is highly likely and the threat level was at severe.
So we were prepared potentially for an incident, as we have been for some considerable time.
The threat level is a matter, as you know, for the independent JTAC, the terrorism analysis center, and they take a whole range of factors into account in setting the threat level. In my view, we responded extremely well to this ghastly, ghastly incident.
DICK: Our understanding is that there were three people involved in the attack. We have witness reports of three people armed with knives and three attackers. And we believe that they -- the threat that they posed was neutralized within eight minutes.
Of course, it's a very complex and confused scene and a confused series of events so it's important that we, first of all, make sure that there is no one else outstanding. We don't believe there is. But we must make absolutely certain of that and, as I said, we have a very large investigation ongoing.
And we will be seeking to establish whether anyone else was working with or assisting in any way or helping in the planning of this attack in the way that you would expect.
So at the moment, we believe there were three attackers and we believe they are dead.
QUESTION: How confident are you (INAUDIBLE)?
DICK: I can tell you that we will be doing absolutely everything in our power to try to stop such a horrendous attack as this. We have been working with the government and with our colleagues in the intelligence services to do so.
DICK: We have a good working -- we have a good working relationship with our American colleagues. We normally share certain types of information with them and, indeed, we depend on them to help keep this country safe.
I cannot give you information at the moment about whether we have or we haven't; it's very early stages. But my working assumption is that we will, of course, be sharing information appropriately with our American colleagues. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
DICK: I can't tell you anything about the identity of the suspects. At the moment obviously a very high priority for us is to identify them, work out who they are, where they came from, what is behind this. I'm not prepared to comment at all about any information that we currently have. You understand why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
DICK: We have very good resources, I would say. We have extraordinarily highly trained people. We have been trying to prepare for an attack like this. We have an excellent working relationship with our colleagues in the agencies. And we have officers on the streets of London all the time.
These sorts of things, as you know, as is quite apparent, are hard to predict and sometimes, sadly, as has been proven over the last few weeks, hard to prevent. We're clearly going to have to look, all of us, in the light of the Westminster attack and the events at Manchester at our resource levels and how we use them.
That's just a natural thing to do but I believe the Metropolitan Police is well resourced.
We benefited from the support from military when the threat level went to critical. As you know, there is a COBR meeting this morning. I'm sure that JTAC will be assessing whether the threat level should go up or not.
And if it were to go up or if we felt that there was a particular need to ask for military support, we absolutely would do so. But I can't say any more than that at this stage.
One more question.
One more question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) to be the mayor (INAUDIBLE) and others (INAUDIBLE).
DICK: So I absolutely understand that this is a worrying time for everybody. Of course it is. And there is going to be considerable concern by some people --
DICK: -- and fear, indeed, among some people. What I think we are asking for is that people do not overreact. People, of course, will make their own decisions about what they do or don't do.
But what -- the last thing we need is people overreacting or beginning to take out their frustrations on other people in other communities or in their own communities.
So we would like people to allow the police and the intelligence agencies to get on with their work and to remain calm. And, of course, we would want people, where they feel able to, to carry on with their normal lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know the identity of (INAUDIBLE) suspects?
DICK: I don't, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do the police?
DICK: Thank you. Thanks very much.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: So there we have the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police giving the latest update. And the numbers of dead now up to seven. There were three attackers. All three of them, she believes, are dead. Well, they are dead, the main three suspects.
And also a very strong indication that the threat is down. Let's speak to CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, for his analysis of that.
It seems as though they're on top of this, right, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: That's certainly the message she was putting across there. You know, all indications that it's under control with all the cordons there. They need to continue to search buildings, go in the building within that cordon then, and stay inside; if you have concerns, contact the police.
But essentially it's under control. This is fast-moving, she said, but we have significant resources. So when she was asked that very important question of had she shared or was information being shared with American intelligence officials, she said it was her working assumption that it would be, that the -- that we depend on them, she said, to keep our country safe.
I think it was also significant that she talked about the most important thing right now was to establish their identity. She was asked the question, can she say the identity of the attackers?
She said she couldn't for obvious reasons, wouldn't for obvious reasons, but that this was a priority. Her language seemed to imply perhaps that they don't have that nailed down yet. That would surprise some people and perhaps I'm reading too much into it there, Max. But that was the key thing she said there, to establish the identity of the attackers and figure out the circle beyond that -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, Nic, thank you.
Liberal Democrats, the third party in England, at least, now announcing they're going to suspend their general election campaign as well. Just for a short while though. There's some bubbling up of sentiment really that perhaps the election campaign shouldn't be suspended in response to this, in response to attackers.
But actually, as Tim Farron (ph), the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said it's out of respect for those who have died. But the election on Thursday -- and I think we can pretty much assume that security will define the rest of that debate. We'll be back in a moment.
FOSTER: The latest on our breaking news this hour. At least seven people were killed and 48 taken to the hospital following back-to-back terrorist attacks Saturday night here in Central London. Some of those victims were French nationals.
Three suspected attackers were shot and killed by police. So far there's been no claim of responsibility.
Multiple victims were stabbed in a rampage through Borough Market, a busy area teeming with shops and caves; just moments earlier a vehicle raced across nearby London Bridge, swerving and slamming into crowds of pedestrians.
Peter Neumann joins us live. He's a professor of security studies at Kings College London and director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence.
We're waiting on some sort of claim of responsibility.
But who do you think it's likely to come from, if at all?
PETER NEUMANN, INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF RADICALISATION: I think it's very likely to come from jihadists. This kind of attack very much mirrors what jihadists are suggesting their supporters should be doing and if we look at social media forums, we also see that the supporters of jihadists very much claim this attack, which doesn't mean anything. The official claim of responsibility is still out.
But it very much fits with the M.O., with the modus operandi of jihadist group and what they're trying to do in Western countries right now.
FOSTER: We heard from a former senior police officer, saying they use this jihadism, this mentality, as an excuse rather than a motivation to carry out the attack.
Do you think there's something in that?
NEUMANN: Yes. And we see a significant number of people two have become attackers recently who've had mental health issues and I think in particular ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, is very clever at exploiting this because it says anyone who feels like attacking can do so and can claim our brand. And if we like it, we will claim the attack in our name. So you can become part of this movement without ever having interacted with anyone that's actually part of that movement. And that, of course, attracts people that are socially isolated, who are perhaps a little bit crazy and who see, in this, perhaps a cause that they can be associated with.
However it's very important to stress that these are typically lone attackers. In this particular case, we had three attackers. And it's very rare that you have three socially isolated crazy people acting together. So I think in this particular case, it's rather unlikely.
FOSTER: What suggests you're having three, though, is actually there might be less intel on them because they might have been working just as that threesome in that group as opposed to a wider network for the police now to investigate.
NEUMANN: That clearly seems to be what the police are assuming because if you listened to the chief constable, you clearly heard that they are assuming that those three people, that's it, that there's no wider network and that there are no other people who are currently on the run.
This is very different from Manchester, where there was a manhunt going on for a couple of days. And we will have to find out. We're waiting for the claim of responsibility and we're clearly waiting for the identities of the attackers.
Once we know the identities of the attackers we can then draw conclusions first of all about what groups they're associated with but also whether they were part of a wider --
NEUMANN: -- network. At this point we do not know.
FOSTER: OK, Peter, thank you.
We're awaiting more details. We expect to hear from Theresa May a little later on. She has currently been involved in a COBR meeting, which is top-level security meeting in this country. So she'll be getting the full briefing there and we'll bring you that as it comes in to us live.
FOSTER: I'm Max Foster. If you're just joining us, we want to update you on our breaking news as we continue to broadcast live from here in Central London. At least seven people are known to have been killed and 48 taken to the hospital in a pair of terrorist attacks here in the British capital. Three assailants were also shot dead. French citizens were among the
victims, according to President Macron's office. And here's what we know about how events unfolded.
In the first incident, police say a speeding van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge. Police say, from there the van drove to nearby Borough Market, panicked patrons went running for their lives as witnesses say the attackers started stabbing people.
We also have this picture taken by a witness which shows two men on the ground. They were wearing fake explosive vests. We don't know for sure --
FOSTER: -- if these were the assailants though. But police say they shot and killed the suspects in Borough Market within eight minutes of receiving that first emergency call.
Samuel Burke joins us live from Scotland Yard.
And they seem to think that the immediate investigation at least is over.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. The most important thing here is that they believe that there were only three attackers. Now they say they can't be certain of that.
But given what they have heard from witnesses and what they have seen from video shared with them and on social media is that there were only three attackers and all three were shot on the scene, as you mentioned, within just eight minutes of the first phone call they received, the police said.
Now interesting to note, when we just heard from the police commissioner, she said that she was under the working assumption that the U.K. Is sharing information with the Americans. That's important, of course, because, just a week ago in our coverage of the terrorist attack up north in Manchester, we learned that so many of the leads were coming from the U.S. side when they were sharing information, that the U.K. felt like they could no longer share information.
But now there seems to be an indication that that information sharing is back. Now the police commissioner also said it's a high priority for them to identify the three attackers that they shot. So that would indicate that they haven't identified them quite yet.
Again, though, there's still space around the area which is being cordoned off and some people are still stuck in that area. So still a somewhat ongoing situation -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, Samuel, thank you.
The next person we expect to hear from is Theresa May outside Downing Street. We'll bring you that live. I'm Max Foster in London. Thank you for watching. More of our
breaking news from Christiane Amanpour, coming up after this short break.