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Six Killed, 30 Wounded in London Terror Attacks. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired June 4, 2017 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, and welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world, I'm Victor Blackwell.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Christi Paul. So great to have you with its, as we cover breaking news of a terror attack in the heart of London.
British police on high alert right now after a night of violence and fear. Seven people are dead now. Yes, that death toll has gone up just within the last few minutes. And at least 48 people are seriously injured after police say a van barreled into pedestrians on London Bridge.
BLACKWELL: This morning, forensic investigators, who are at the site of the attack, looking for evidence. And Metropolitan Police are telling people near the scene of the attack to stay inside. Here's how things unfolded.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Terror in London, starting with a van careening into crowds of people on the city's iconic London Bridge and ending with several stabbings in a popular restaurant area. It is the third terror attack in the U.K. in the last three months.
Police say they shot and killed three attackers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About six or seven times, we heard gunshots going off down the street. Each time, we thought maybe more gunshots at a time. But that first one, probably heard about 10 or 15 gunshots.
BLACK (voice-over): Calls started coming in shortly at 10:00 pm local time of people being mowed down by a van on London Bridge. One eyewitness describes the van speeding, swerving, hitting several people, tossing one person 20 feet into the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Within my line of sight there were five or six bodies that I could see on the ground of people who were not moving.
BLACK (voice-over): Seconds later, the van crashed near Borough Market, the bar and restaurant area, that was packed on a busy Saturday night. According to police, the suspects got out and started stabbing people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I initially turned back around and there were these three men, standing there, one of which with a machete. And they had this sort of belt on. We didn't really -- and they just looked at us and I just really didn't know what to do.
BLACK (voice-over): That market area is where police say they shot and killed the three male suspects. This image, from the scene of what could be two of the assailants on the ground.
London's mayor has this message for his city.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. I'm reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world.
BLACKWELL: All right. CNN anchor and chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, is live from London.
Christiane, I understand that we are expecting to hear from British prime minister Theresa May at any moment.
But what are you hearing right now?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Well, we are here, about as far as we can get to the incident on London Bridge. As you can imagine, the cordons are still in effect.
And even though we had a rather dramatic press conference by the chief of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, who said that the assailants have been neutralized -- listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRESSIDA DICK, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So that is Cressida Dick, the new chief of Metropolitan Police, while describing the events of last night and pointing out that police neutralized, in her words, those attackers within eight minutes of the call, she's still saying that they're obviously showing a much higher presence of police on the street, including armed police.
The British security services may, depending on what the prime minister says and what the independent joint task force says, raise the threat again to severe.
There may, she said also, be another showing of military personnel on the streets, as we saw directly after the Manchester attacks two weeks ago.
She's also calling on people not to panic, understanding the fear, understanding the frustration, as she put it, don't panic but remain vigilant.
If you see the slightest suspicious thing, please tell, ask the police, no matter what it is.
Now as I said, the prime minister is expected to talk. She has been chairing her COBR meetings this morning.
Nic Robertson is down at Westminster with more on that angle, the political angle of this unfolding story -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Of course, a lot of people are really waiting to hear what she has to say, what she echoed very likely, what Cressida Dick had to say by praising the --
ROBERTSON: -- quick reaction of the police, the quick response, offering her sympathy and support to the families of the victims.
But what people are also wanting to know if she's going to do, is she going to raise the terror threat level?
Remembering after the Manchester attack, Theresa May had a COBR meeting similar to this one in the immediate aftermath, the morning immediately after. She didn't raise the threat level then at the meeting, the COBR meeting later in the day.
She did raise the threat level from severe, where we are now, which means an attack is highly likely; she raised it to critical, which means that an attack was probable, that it was -- that it was highly likely to happen.
So is she going to do that again now?
So looking back to Manchester two weeks ago, it was two COBR meetings before she took that decision.
But of course, if she does take the decision to raise the threat level to critical, raising the specter of an imminent attack, then the likelihood is we'll see an increase of security on the streets. We're seeing that already. But going back to the Manchester attack, British soldiers were brought
on to the streets, armed British soldiers brought onto the streets under the command of the police, the special operation, to augment and supplement the security.
So these are some of the things that people will be looking to see if the prime minister talks about -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: You know, Nic, we've been through this before; this is, in the last three months, three attacks, March and then two weeks ago and now today. Cressida Dick, the head the Met, said they do not believe anyone else was involved in this attack last night, in terms of attackers themselves.
But they've still obviously got cordons, obviously police are out trying to make sure there aren't any on the loose. But they are trying to figure out whether this is part of any kind of wider plot as they did in Manchester.
Are you hearing anything about that nature?
Obviously, we've had the latest from the Met chief.
ROBERTSON: I think it was significant, Christiane, the question she was asked was has this intelligence been shared with American allies. She said it was her working assumption that it would be. She said we depend on -- we depend on the United States and their help for our security. So she was very clear on that.
Of course, there was a problem last time, when the Manchester police shared information with the U.S. counterterrorism officials, security officials; that information was leaked. There was a big backlash here in Britain. So her working assumption that that's gone ahead this time tells us that everything is on track there.
And as she has said, the United States will play a significant role in determining if other people were involved in this plot, who these three men were and were they connected.
We have to go back to 2005 here to find a plot that was successful that involved more than one person. The Westminster attack two months ago was one person; the Manchester attack was at least one attacker; maybe there was a support network behind him.
So three people perpetrating this attack certainly creates the sensation and the feeling, at least, in this country, that the attacks are coming closer to together and more people are involved.
There's a worrying momentum. The message from the prime minister is going to be a very important one to stanch and stop people's natural concerns, fears and worries. Of course, running up into the general election, just a few days, another pressure on the prime minister right now as well.
AMANPOUR: So as we've been discussing and we're waiting for the prime minister to come out, it's important to sort of put all of this in context. This, the officials are saying and the experts are saying, is most similar to what happened -- most similar to what happened on Westminster in March.
In other words, a bridge; a vehicle that rammed people on the bridge. And then the attacker who got out and, in that case, ran to Parliament and was killed. In this case, attackers, multiple attackers, who got out, went to Borough Market and attacked people inside areas of recreation, inside bars, inside restaurants and the like.
So they're trying to figure out what this kind of new element of terrorism is. And it's very, very difficult. As Cressida Dick said, she said, you know, it's very, very hard to predict and very hard, as you can see, to prevent these kinds of things.
But the police are saying that they have learned so much from what has been going on. And because the threat level was at critical, it had been lowered --
AMANPOUR: -- from severe. But it was at critical. They say that is why they're on such a state of high alert and why they were ready as soon as they received the initial distress calls.
They were ready, not just police, also armed police, but all of the emergency services as well reacted within minutes and killed the assailants within eight minutes themselves.
So we're waiting for Prime Minister May to come out. We go back to you in Atlanta for the moment.
BLACKWELL: All right, Christiane, thank you very much.
Of course, we will be following the very latest here throughout the morning on the many angles of this London terror attack.
As Christiane talked about, this is the third in three months, two in just two weeks. And of course as the Metropolitan Police begin and continue this investigation overnight, there will be the questions of what will their cooperation be inside the U.K. with those authorities in Manchester and with the U.S. after, as Nic mentioned, the concerns about leaking of some information that was shared with U.S. officials after the Manchester bombing.
PAUL: And again, just to reiterate, we're expecting to hear from Prime Minister Theresa May any moment. But we do want to go to Isa Soares. She is in Borough Market. That is where they did -- were able to get a hold of these suspects and shoot them dead.
And now, of course, the big question is, Isa, who are these people?
And how big is the conspiracy there of their group in London?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that's a big concern, Christi, because we heard from the commissioner just moments ago, Cressida Dick, who was saying that we believe that the three men that were taken down, it was just three but they can't confirm for sure, because what they now need to look at is whether anyone else has been involved with them in terms of planning, of carrying out these attacks.
So they won't go very far in telling us exactly who they were, where they came from or any information about them. But as you can imagine, people here waking up on a Sunday morning, extremely shaken by this very terrifying experience.
I'm at Borough Market. Just behind me, you can see police here. This area is still cordoned off, Christi. And just farther down, that is the bridge where the van plowed into those people before they left and then started attacking people in these bars and areas.
It's very popular, this High Street here in this area, with lots of restaurants, lots of bars. And on a beautiful Saturday evening, temperatures were relatively high for London, I must say, people were out and about. I had a good friend who was in one of those restaurants with his fiancee; another couple, where the lady was pregnant.
He hid in the toilet for an hour and he was texting me throughout, telling me to call the police.
Glad, I'm very happy to hear that he's fine. But it was an absolutely terrifying experience for him, Christi. And the people here have seen it firsthand. There are all obviously some hotels in this area, because it's a very touristy area. This was all -- people were all cleared out and in response what we had, Londoners offering their homes, opening their doors to those who had no home -- Christi.
PAUL: Isa, talk to us more about your friend who was, as I understand it, hiding upstairs above this restaurant or bar where he was. He said to you, did he not, he thought this was it for him?
SOARES: Yes. He was absolutely terrified. He has been based in -- lived in London for like 12 years. He moved out of London in the last few years with his fiancee. But they do have an apartment here.
And he actually messaged my husband earlier on in the day, saying come out for dinner, we haven't seen you in a while. We weren't in London at that time.
But when we were going to bed, he started texting my husband and basically saying to him -- his text basically said, call the police, I'm at this restaurant. A man has walked in with knives. We are hiding in the toilet.
At that instant, Christi, we thought that this -- maybe somebody had taken the phone. This is probably someone -- it was a hoax. So we texted him back and said, is this you?
He wouldn't pick up the phone, because he didn't want to make any noise. So we were texting him, trying to calm him down. I called the police, my husband called the police. And he -- what he saw was a man with a knife. He said such a big knife that looked practically like a machete, coming in, attacking people. He grabbed his fiancee and the couple went with him; the lady was
heavily pregnant. And they hid upstairs in the toilet for a period of an hour. And throughout that hour, we were constantly texting each other, just saying keep calm. Police will be on their way. And alerting the police to exactly who they were.
Luckily and thankfully, the police arrived.
SOARES: And they were fine. They went to hospital but you can understand, Christi, extremely, extremely shaken by this whole experience. And the lady and baby, they are fine, too.
BLACKWELL: Well, good to hear.
Isa, give us an idea of the scope of the cordoned area. We heard from the Metropolitan Police commissioner that they want people in the area to stay within that space.
How large is it, quickly?
SOARES: So from where we are on this High Street, Victor, it goes much farther out. I can tell you in terms of kilometers but the bridge is much farther. If I move out of the way so my camera man can give you a sense.
So this is the High Street. The bridge is further on from those tall buildings, as you can see. And all of this area has been cordoned off. And what we heard from the commissioner today, Victor, in the last hour or so, was basically saying if you're at home, stay at home.
Why is that important?
It's important because they want to make sure everyone is accounted for, crucially, that no one is missing and no one has been hurt.
But also, I imagine they're paring through there, they're looking at exactly what has happened, taking people's statements and getting a sense of what happened.
We have spoken to locals here who are shaken. I spoke to a young man, who was on the bridge when that happened, just a few seconds after that happened. He's very young. He had just left work. And he was so shaken, basically in tears, saying he never expected; initially when he saw it, he thought perhaps it was a car crash, something had happened. As he went further along the bridge, he saw more bodies, then he started to panic -- Christi, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Isa Soares for us there, Borough Market, where this attack ended eight minutes after the first call came in with the deaths of those three attackers.
Let's go back now to where it began or near that spot and send it back to Christiane Amanpour, near the London Bridge.
AMANPOUR: Yes, Victor; again, this is where we are, as far as we can get, as close as we can get to the actual bridge area.
And it's been interesting, as you just heard what Isa was saying about the people around Borough Market, here, in the aftermath of this attack, well, as it was happening last night, in the panic, the police came in and started to evacuate lots and lots of tourists and people who were in various hotels much closer to the attack.
And we've only just started to see them streaming back. They've been doing that in the last half hour or so, literally dozens and dozens of people who were removed from their hotels, nearer to the attack and then taken away further, sort of beyond where we are right now. And now they're coming back.
So there's been a lot of response by the police and by all the emergency services in the immediate aftermath. We know, of course, that Borough Market is sort of -- you know, you get off at London Bridge. And you go downstairs towards where the embankment is.
That is where these attackers, according to eyewitnesses, went after getting out of the van, the white van, that they used to swerve as has been described in an S-shape, all the way down London Bridge as they tried to mount that curve and eventually mounting the curve and hitting people on the bridge.
We know that at least 48 people are still in hospital being taken care of, some of those in critical condition. We know also that the death toll has risen to seven, according to police; it is now seven dead.
And the Metropolitan Police chief says that while they believe they have killed all of the assailants -- and she put that at eight minutes after the first call and that was in the Borough Market area. We've heard lots and lots of eyewitnesses talk about really how it unfolded.
And this has been an interesting development in terms of how it unfolded with many, many eyewitnesses painting that terrifying picture until finally it was clear that it was one set of assailants in the van who did the attack on the bridge and then rushed and did stabbing indiscriminately in the borough area.
We're going to take a break and we'll be back shortly.
PAUL: We want to get you back to our breaking news coverage of the London terror overnight. Seven people now have died and at least 48 people are seriously injured after a van barreled into pedestrians on London Bridge.
BLACKWELL: But three men driving and inside that van, they jumped out of the van and then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market before they were shot and killed by police.
We've learned that there are still many of the people, the 48 people, who are, at least some of them, critical condition, that according to --
PAUL: We have a -- yes, I'm sorry, Victor.
We have a live picture here, as you can see, of Downing Street. We're waiting for Prime Minister Theresa May to come out and give us a briefing as to where they stand now.
We know that she's going into shortly here or maybe has already been in a COBR meeting. COBR stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. She'll be meeting with top security officials there, trying to determine, I'm sure, what they know and where they know from here.
But that's a live picture, as I'm sure there's a throng of media standing behind that, on the other side of it, that we can't see, waiting to hear --
BLACKWELL: Let's go back now to Christiane Amanpour, who is in London, as close as she can possibly get to that London Bridge area.
AMANPOUR: That's exactly right. And as you've been saying, the death toll was raised earlier this morning to seven; 48 people still in about five or so hospitals around London, some of them in critical condition.
The Metropolitan Police say they have killed, as far as they know, all of the attackers. All of the eyewitnesses spoke about three attackers. All those who actually saw these people spoke about three. And the police shot three dead within eight minutes of having first received a call.
That was in the Borough Market area, which is full of bars and restaurants, which is apparently where the killers went after ramming their van onto the curb on London Bridge and then going down these stone staircases from the bridge to the river level, the embankment as we call it, where Borough Market is.
It's a food hall and in this big food hall is a network of bars and restaurants, little places where people congregate day and night, at lunchtime, in the evening. Of course, it was Saturday night.
And eyewitnesses have spoken about these people going at least to two or three of these establishments with the knives and indiscriminately slashing. We've heard about eyewitnesses who report trying to fend these people off, trying to defend against them.
One said if he would have tripped while he was trying to struggle to break away from one of these killers, he would have been killed for sure, telling a different network that. Now what is really very poignant and obviously of great concern for
the security is that this attack comes virtually two weeks to the day since the Manchester attack. That was very different. That was a suicide bombing attack inside the establishment in the lobby area of the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert on the 22nd of May, on Monday night.
And Ariana Grande has come back and she's doing a benefit concert for victims of that attack, along with Coldplay and other bands in Manchester today. And it is still going ahead. And our Phil Black is there today.
That's an extraordinary thing that it is still --
AMANPOUR: -- going ahead, Phil. Tell us what you know.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, that's still going ahead and with greater purpose. That's according to a statement that was released a short time ago by Ariana Grande's manager.
The point, he says, is to make a statement that hatred and fear, they will not win. It's an extraordinary event to be taking place so soon, not only after the events last night but still only within two weeks after the attack that took place here.
If you see around me, there are still people coming here to this memorial in the center of the city. The emotion here is still very raw. People are still angry. They're still hurting. They're still feeling the trauma of those events just two weeks ago, which took 22 lives, including those of seven children.
And on top of that, they now know that there are people in London who are feeling exactly as they are this morning. All of that combines, I think, to create an incredibly powerful sense of emotion in this city today.
But the sense is that this event must still go ahead. It's a controversial decision in some ways; even the police have acknowledged that because it's taking place so soon after the attacks here, not everyone was in favor of that.
But most of the victims were said to support the idea and so it is going ahead. It is going to be a challenge emotionally I think for this community but also a challenge logistically. Security is still so important. If you look around this city in so many ways, it does look to have gone back to normal but it's not entirely normal here, there is still an incredible police presence on the streets.
And policing this event tonight will be an extraordinary exercise. There will be 50,000 people attending this concert. Keeping them safe or keeping the rest of the city safe as well will take an extraordinary amount of manpower and dedication, organization, and so forth. But the police here are determined that it should go ahead. And what
we're hearing from the concert organizers specifically this morning is that the artists who will be performing, Ariana Grande and all of the international stars that have been brought here for this event, they're determined to proceed as well -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Phil, I was hearing reports from Manchester earlier today that this concert has dedicated 14,000 tickets for victims of the attack and for people who had gone to the last concert.
So people who were directly involved in the last. And apparently it's happening at what we call the old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester. It's obviously is not at the Manchester Arena.
And we understand there are huge numbers of police, as you said, deployed. They expect about 50,000 people there today. And people going in and out are going to be checked, searched.
And they say people are already turning up like bands this morning to do sound checks. Again, this isn't an extraordinary act of defiance and solidarity in Manchester going on as already and right now, they're still searching, still looking around for what may or may not have been a bigger plot here in London.
BLACK: Yes, that's right. As I said, it was already going to be this extraordinary act of defiance. All of that organization that you've just summed up there is absolutely true, both in terms of the logistics of getting all of these acts here, getting them set up and ready to go within a secure environment tonight, you're right, as the 50,000 people attend, they will be searched individually. People who are attending are asked not to bring bags along because that's going to slow down the process. That's all of the practical stuff.
But then on top of that you just simply have the emotional environment within which all of this is taking place. It was already going to be such an emotional event because, you're right, many of the people who attended the first concert. They're going be there tonight. They do get to attend for free. Everyone else will be paying and that money will be going toward the victims of the attack.
And now everyone here has this additional reason to think about and relive the emotions they've been feeling so intensely for the last two weeks. A great sense of empathy with what is happening in London no doubt. Also an event that has no doubt brought back the suffering and trauma that has been experienced here on a very personal level.
We're still seeing it here every day. This carpet of flowers, tributes, candles and messages, it continues to grow and big crowds continue to come here. People continue to come here to stop and reflect. We still see people weeping here, openly, in this Central Manchester location two weeks after the event itself.
So it's an extraordinarily intense environment here, still. People here are only just beginning the process, I think, of dealing with all that they have experienced and felt over the last two weeks. And now the events in London have really brought it back in a very sharp, powerful way -- Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, Phil, thank you.
Remember, 22 people killed in Manchester two weeks ago, dozens injured, many of them critical with life-changing wounds that they're going to have to live with for the rest of their lives -- and here, too, probably.
[05:30:00] We understand 48 people were wounded, including, according to the police, a police officer, and seven people dead here. That is a total of nearly 29 people, 30 people killed in terrorist attacks in the last two weeks here in Great Britain.
As the Metropolitan police chief, Cressida Dick, said in the last hour, these are, quote, "very hard to predict and as you can see," she said, "very hard to prevent."
But insisting, trying to reassure the British public that, because of the elevated threat level, even though it had been critical then severe then back down to critical, that meant all of the emergency services and police and security and intelligence services were on very, very high alert, which she attributes to the very rapid response here overnight, after 10:00 pm local time here in London, when this situation started to unfold.
Again, reminding people that the assailants, as far as they know, three were killed by police within eight minutes of the first call. And as we continue to wait for Prime Minister Theresa May to come out and address the public after her emergency meetings with what we call COBR, she will do so, as we understand, there's a podium outside number 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence. And we're just going to hear again from the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, what he has to say about these attackers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: There aren't words to describe the grief and anger that our city will be feeling 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 these acts of these terrorists and I'm quite clear that we will never let them win nor will we allow them to cow our city or Londoners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That was the mayor earlier. He also said that there was a much higher police presence, as you can imagine. And we are waiting to see whether the threat level gets raised again to severe.
Again, Cressida Dick, the chief of the Metropolitan Police, said that's it; we'll have to wait to see what happens and whether they call on the services of the military again, as they did during the immediate aftermath of the attacks in Manchester. Now also she was asked about sharing intelligence and getting
intelligence from the United States. As you know, President Trump has tweeted offering all of the help and solidarity that America can offer to Great Britain.
And Cressida Dick said they depend on their American friends to keep them safe and sharing and collaborating on intelligence and they fully expect to continue to be able to do that.
We're going to take a short break and we'll come back. We are awaiting Theresa May, the prime minister, to see what further developments may be ahead.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: (INAUDIBLE) I have just chaired a meeting of the governor's emergency committee. And I want to update you with the latest information about the attack.
Shortly before 10 past 10:00 yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police received reports that a white van had struck pedestrians on London Bridge. It continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market, where three terrorists left the van and attacked innocent and unarmed civilians with blades and knives.
MAY: All three were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but the police have established that this clothing was fake and worn only to spread panic and fear.
As so often in such serious situations, the police responded with great courage and great speed. Armed offices from the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police arrived at Borough Market within moments and shot and killed the three suspects.
The terrorists were confronted and shot by armed officers within eight minutes of the police receiving the first emergency call.
Seven people have died as a result of the attack, in addition to the three suspects shot dead by the police. Forty-eight people are being treated in several hospitals across London. Many have life- threatening conditions.
On behalf of the people of London and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and the emergency services and the courage of members of the public who defended themselves and others from the attackers.
And our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with their friends, families and loved ones. This is, as we all know, the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the last three months. In March, a similar attack took place just around the corner on Westminster Bridge.
Two weeks ago, the Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber and now London has been struck once more.
And at the same time, the security and intelligence agencies and police have disrupted five credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.
In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected but we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face.
As terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots, after years of planning and training, and not even as lone attackers radicalized online but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.
We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change and they need to change in four important ways.
First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.
It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.
Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time, but it cannot be defeated by military intervention alone. It will not be defeated by the maintenance of a permanent defensive counter- terrorism operation, however skillful its leaders and practitioners.
It will only be defeated when we turn people's minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values -- pluralistic British values -- are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.
Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.
We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.
Third, while we need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online, we must not forget about the safe spaces that continue to exist in the real world. Yes, that means taking military action to destroy Isis in Iraq and Syria. But it also means taking action here at home.
While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is -- to be frank -- far too --
MAY: -- much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing, conversations.
But the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities, but as one truly United Kingdom.
Fourth, we have a robust counter-terrorism strategy, that has proved successful over many years. But as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up.
So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain's counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.
And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorist-related offences -- even apparently less serious offences -- that is what we will do.
Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say, "Enough is enough."
Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.
As a mark of respect, two political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today. But violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process, so those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow and the general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.
As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together and, united, we will take on and defeat our enemies.
AMANPOUR: OK, guys.
So Theresa May has just delivered the much-anticipated address and statement and update after her COBR meeting. She has basically said several things, including that five, she says, plots were disrupted after the Westminster attack; that was in March.
She's also saying that they did get all of the assailants in last night's attack. And she's saying that these three attacks that have hit Great Britain since March -- now Westminster, Manchester and now London -- she does not believe and nor do police believe are actually connected and coordinated except, she said, by a common ideological threat, which she called violent Islamist extremism.
She spent a lot of time -- I've not heard her be so defiant and lengthy on this particular issue in the wake of these attacks -- spent a lot of time saying how this ideology must be defeated. It will not be defeated by military means alone.
It will not be defeated by just counterterrorism means alone but must be defeated by the whole country pulling together -- and she said often having difficult and sometimes potentially embarrassing conversations. She said too much tolerance of extremism exists here in Great Britain right now.
She said also, because this is obviously a few days before a general election, which she called herself, a snap election that is due on Thursday, that will continue. And campaigning will continue tomorrow.
She said that these attackers cannot disrupt the British democratic process. She was very, very angry about a safe space that she said exists to give these terrorists the opportunity to breed and, that, she called the online space and repeated her call for that to be closed down and for all of those in charge and able to restrict and monitor that space online needs to get together and be able to somehow make that more restrictive for these online radicalizations and online instruction of these kinds of terrorist attacks.
Now I'm joined now by Dal Babu. He's the former chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police.
Good to see you. Come here closer to me.
You just heard me repeat what the prime minister was saying.
DAL BABU, FORMER CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT, METROPOLITAN POLICE: Yes.
AMANPOUR: I did not hear and I may have missed it because of some crackle whether she's raised the --
AMANPOUR: -- security threat.
I do not know whether you know that?
BABU: I don't know that. But that would not be her decision.
AMANPOUR: It wouldn't be her decision --
BABU: It would be a decision by independent security experts.
AMANPOUR: All right. We understand that hasn't happened yet.
So do you expect that to happen?
In other words, we know there's more police, more security on the streets, today, obviously.
Is it necessary to raise that threat level again, do you think?
And to bring more military onto the streets?
BABU: First of all, my sympathy goes out to the victims and it's absolutely shocking what happened. I think if you look at what the Met Police did, it was extraordinary. From the moment they had the call to the moment that these attackers were shot dead was eight minutes. It's extraordinary.
And you can imagine the kind of chaos that the police officers had to face. We're a country that is not routinely armed. But we actually made sure there had been lots of practice. The Metropolitan Police were quite extraordinary. So I think we need to pay tribute to the police officers, the hospitals; the fire brigade came out. There's a whole range of public sector organizations that came out.
AMANPOUR: Including the current Met chief, Cressida Dick, said part of that reason was because of lessons learned, certainly in the last three months since Westminster and obviously before.
But the high alert that the police are under and the high state of readiness, she said, contributed to the swift, as she said, neutralizing of these attackers.
BABU: Yes, absolutely. The police have been practicing for a number of years. And if you look at where we were when I joined the police, we used to have a gun in the police station; you had to call. You'd have to go book the gun out. We're not in that position now. The threat of this, totally different.
So I think that we now have not only routinely armed officers but we have more officers armed.
I think what we saw in Manchester was that the numbers of police officer had gone down; it's 20,000 police officers --
AMANPOUR: You mean the police officers that patrol the community or the counterterrorism?
BABU: Well, the normal police officers. We had 140,000. It's gone down to 120,000.
AMANPOUR: And there have been complaints.
AMANPOUR: Even Cressida Dick today -- I was surprised because it's a bit of a political statement, she said this is obviously going to raise new questions about our resource levels.
BABU: Absolutely. And I think the police are, of all the organizations, the least reluctant to come forward and say we need more resources. So they've taken the 20,000 reduction. And actually we're now actually seeing the very brave police officers that you want to be routinely armed walking about the street, getting that information from the community.
And I think that's another element to be -- it's not just all counterterrorism officers. It's the officers that are going to places of worship. They're officers that will have a cup of tea in the local cafe.
They will pick up those (INAUDIBLE).
I was at a meeting --
AMANPOUR: So you're saying that this, once and for all, proves that the austerity needs to be reversed and police need to be back on the streets in numbers?
BABU: Absolutely. The idea that you can have a fantastic reduction in police officers and then have no impact on crime and our safety is, for me, not feasible. I think it has an impact. So we need to review the number of police officers that we have.
But it's not -- and it's very, very important that we don't try and distinguish between counterterrorism and everyday police officers. Because where we get our intelligence, where we have this radicalization taking place and remember, we've had three attacks within the space of three months.
And we need to be now thinking about not calling the army to come back and patrol the streets but looking at putting sufficient resources into policing.
AMANPOUR: So tell me, though, as a police chief and as a police on the beat, what happens?
I mean, Theresa May has said there's far too much tolerance and extremism. She's called on the whole country to pull together and have embarrassing, potentially difficult conversations to root out these threats, to report these threats.
What are you seeing on the streets?
We know that in Manchester, the Muslim community reported Salman Abedi years before he committed this crime two weeks ago. They did it and it wasn't taken up.
BABU: Right. Well, I was at a meeting yesterday, before this attack happened, with a group of senior Muslim individuals, who were basically asking the very, very same question.
What can we do to ensure that we're supporting the security services to stop these individuals committing these acts?
So the idea that these conversations aren't taking place, I'm afraid, is incorrect.
AMANPOUR: So they're happening now.
BABU: Well, we had the conversation. The Muslim Council of Britain yesterday was having that conversation.
AMANPOUR: So what needs to happen then?
Why are three of these attacks got through?
You're saying it's purely policing?
BABU: No, nom not at all. Policing is part of it. But it's also about making sure that we have the confidence of the community.
If you look at how we solved issues around the IRA when the IRA -- and I'm old enough to remember the IRA bombing indiscriminately across London, Birmingham, and it was a very, very scary time.
And just like now and the way we actually solved it was if I actually (INAUDIBLE) the community, the community then coming forward and saying, (INAUDIBLE) these are the individuals that we have concerns about.
So what we want to do --
BABU: -- is to make sure is that the community are confident in what we're doing. But it's about looking at the PREVENT program, it's about looking at resourcing, it's about making sure that we have got the right police officers with the right training in the right place.
AMANPOUR: How much is about online space, as Theresa May said?
That is their (INAUDIBLE) to breed?
BABU: Absolutely. I don't know that the prime minister is absolutely right. It's shocking that Twitter and Google, it's appalling that they've allowed these things to happen. And Twitter and Google really need to look themselves in the face and say, what are they doing, in the billions of pounds they're making, absolute huge profits, what are they doing to ensure that these -- this information --
AMANPOUR: And Facebook as well?
BABU: Well, Facebook and Twitter. If you look at these individuals, they -- the people are putting things online, daish, you're having a conversation. That's how they're having the communications. And if you look at daish, daish is now on its last legs now. But it's actually been quite effective in terms of its online presence.
So we need to be saying to these big Internet companies, what are you doing, what are you doing to share that information with the authorities? It's not so much the people -- it's no good looking at the Muslim
community and saying, look, you're not saying this. A lot of this is happening online.
I work with the Bethnall (ph) (INAUDIBLE) girls, the girls that went to --
AMANPOUR: Who went to Syria.
BABU: Yes. And I spoke to the families, the families were totally unaware of what was happening. Most youngsters will have a smartphone and you have a double whammy, you have -- people in my generation that aren't that really in tune with social media and then you have the language issue.
So a lot of these youngsters are now being groomed online. So I think the questions that should be what are Google doing with their vast profits, what are Twitter doing with their profits to try and help people report that information to the authorities.
AMANPOUR: Dal Babu, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
We're going to take a short break now. We'll be back with more developments
Welcome back to the program here, just outside as far as we can get to London Bridge where the attack happened last night. We want to update you on the breaking news. Those are the terror attacks in London.
And here's what we know right now. Police say the death toll from those attacks has risen to at least seven; 48 people were injured. The London mayor said some of the injured are in critical condition. As we know, police shot and killed all three known suspects within about eight minutes of getting the first call, they say.
And the Metropolitan Police chief says they believe the incident is under control. They believe they have all of the assailants. However, they have expanded their patrolling.
And they want to know whether there were any more potentially out there. They don't believe so or they're just abundance of caution.
The attack began when a van swerved into crowds of pedestrians on the London Bridge. Witnesses say the attackers got out of the van and headed on foot to the Borough Market area, where they began stabbing people. London's mayor said the city is stepping up its police presence in the
wake of the attack.
Now it is the latest in a string of terrorist attacks involving vehicles ramming pedestrians.
So is this the new method for self-radicalized individuals?
Peter Neumann is director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence.
And we've also got CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem, who's in the United States.
Thank you, both of us, for joining.
Peter, first to you; I don't know whether just you heard Dal Babu, the former assistant here at the Metropolitan Police. He was very, very insistent and critical of the deep slashes in the police resources.
The police on the street, the community police, who are the ones who get the, you know, interface with people and are likely to get the first warnings of any trouble. What do you make of that?
PETER NEUMANN, INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF RADICALISATION: Yes, for sure. And this is something that is difficult for Theresa May, because she, of course, was home secretary during the period when those cuts were being made.
But I think it is important to recognize that this is something difficult that all Western European countries are currently faced with, the capacity of security agencies to deal with the numbers of cases of potentially violent extremists that are currently confronted with is just impossible.
That's not only true for Britain, that's true for basically every European country right now.
AMANPOUR: Let me go to Juliette.
Juliette, you've been watching this the last several hours it's unfolded. The police did get the suspects. As far as they all know, the Metropolitan Police chief has said that as far as they know all three and there were only three have been, in her words, neutralized.
Give me your assessment of the speed with which this happened and what you think this was.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So this is an unique type of attack. I've been calling it -- it's sort of a low- sophistication, high-organization, right?
It's not your typical lone wolf attack. It was not a bomb or a large detonation where it had to be organized or planned, where things would have been purchased. This was a simple van and some knives. But on the other hand, you had three men coordinate simultaneously to
do this, which, of course, takes some sort of planning and some sort of collusion, I guess is the right word.
What we don't know at this stage, Christiane, is whether there was some outside hand. We don't know their names. Theresa May said today obviously they were Islamic terrorists; we've confirmed that. But we don't know what their travel schedules were like. We don't know what their network was like.
So the take-away, just two quick takeaways, one of course the quick response by Metropolitan Police is actually a sign of success.
In other words, if cities like these can minimize the damage done by terrorists attacks that are almost impossible to stop them all, then that's a sign of success, even though we have a tragedy before us.
The second, I guess, sort of looking ahead is Theresa May's comment about enough is enough. I think that is a warning sign. I'm not sure what she meant but I would anticipate a lot of movement, should she win in the election.
AMANPOUR: What might she mean, Peter Neumann?
This is an election campaign obviously; you said that she was home secretary as those cuts were made. And that she said they're not connected, these last three attacks here, except by that ideology.
What does "enough is enough" mean practically?
NEUMANN: Well, that is the big question because she announced a campaign against Islamist extremism. That's what the government in this country has been talking about for nearly six years.
They tried to introduce a bill for the past two years, a counter extremism bill, which failed because --