Return to Transcripts main page
Van Rams Muslim Worshipper in London Attack; Police Kill Man Driving a Car Pack with Explosives; UK and EU Negotiators Meet in Brussels; Britain Mourns Grenfell Victims; U.K. and E.U Begin Brexit talks; Witness Accounts On Van Attack; History of British Muslims. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 19, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:10] CLARISSA WARD, CNN HOST: Tonight, terror strikes London again. This time a van plows into a crowd of worshipers outside a mosque in North
London. We are here, live, on the scene, with the latest.
Plus, Brexit talks begin, but with the British government in disarray, what kind of a deal can Theresa May push for. We'll get the view from Brussels.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Clarissa Ward in for Christiane Amanpour, reporting here from North London.
This is a neighborhood in shock after yet another terror attack early this morning. This time the attack targeted a crowd of Muslim worshipers, who
were leaving Ramadan evening prayers shortly after midnight just behind where I am standing now.
One person was killed, nine are hospitalized after a van plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in this Finsbury Park neighborhood. It is home to at
least four mosques. It services a large Muslim community.
Well, the suspected driver of the van is a 47-year-old who was arrested after being wrestled to the ground by people at the scene. London's Mayor
Sadiq Khan spoke at the site of the attack earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: These have been a terrible few weeks for London. Unprecedented in recent times. We have seen the horror of the fire at
Grenfell Tower. We have seen the attack on London bridge and before that Westminster Bridge and we saw last night the terrorist attack here in Seven
We will stay a strong city. We will ensure that we aren't cowled by terrorism and we will not be defeated. We are united today. We're going
to carry on being a united city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: The metropolitan police says Counterterrorism Command Forces are investigating the incident and once again political leaders promised to
put a stop to the terror. But today's incident appears to be part of a worrying cycle of attacks and reprisals by Islamists and Islamophobic
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has been covering the story throughout the day and has the latest details.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just after midnight as worshipers from one of London's mosques filled the street after prayers, a
van mounted the pavement, driving through the crowds.
MOHAMMED ABDUL, EYEWITNESS: Horrendous. Something we should not see in the 21st century. Something we should not see in the last minutes of
ABDIKADIR WARFA, EYEWITNESS: A van was coming, driving at very high speed, high speed and he just drove at people. Some of them, he took a few
PLEITGEN: One man died, but it's unclear if this was as a result of the attack. The police arrived. The suspect, a 47-year-old man, had been
detained by shocked members of the Muslim community.
In an extraordinary intervention, the local imam protected him until he was handed over to the authorities.
TOUFIK KACIMI, MUSLIM WELFARE HOUSE: He was shouting, I did my bid. And you deserve it and stuff like this. And thanks for our imam, Mohammed
Mamoud (ph), who went quickly and grabbed the guy because they -- the people there was trying to hit and kick the guy, but he saved him and kept
him safe until the police arrived.
PLEITGEN: Described by eyewitnesses as deliberate, police are treating this as a terror attack, but cautioned that the investigation is still in
its early stages.
NEIL BASU, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMISSIONER: It appears at this time that this attacker attacked alone. That is not to say that we
are not investigating the full circumstances of how he came to be where he was.
PLEITGEN: Prime Minister Theresa May described the act of violence as sickening.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This was an attack on Muslims, near their place of worship. And like all terrorism, in whatever form, it
shares the same fundamental goal. It seeks to drive us apart and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this
country. We will not let this happen.
PLEITGEN: London's mayor also condemning the incident.
KHAN: This attack behind me at Seven Sisters, the attack in Manchester, the attack on London Bridge, the attack on Westminster Bridge, are all an
attack on our shared values. Our shared values of tolerance and freedom and respect. And we will not allow these terrorists to succeed.
PLEITGEN: For the third time in three months, authorities here are investigating the deadly consequences of a vehicle being driven into
people. But local leaders here say while the extremists try to divide this community, they will stand united.
[14:05:10] WARD: Fred Pleitgen joins us now.
And, Fred, I'm just wondering, how is the community been responding here today?
PLEITGEN: Well, you know, I think it is one of the things that is remarkable about this community is its makeup. And I think it's one of the
things where many people don't understand how a community like this can be so close knit, but I think that's also where it gains its strength from.
You know, we've been out here for hours. There have been a lot of people coming here for instance for the sizable Jewish community that is living
right amidst the Muslim community.
You can tell that these folks really are, you know, they feel like they are together in this. And one of the things that we've heard so much about
today has been that word Islamophobia, where a lot of the folks from the Muslim community have been saying.
Look, it's something that's been on the rise. And it's really interesting to see the response, for instance, from the Jewish community saying, look,
we understand, we're here with you and just showing them that there is someone who stands with them. I think that's something very, very
As a lot of people, of course, are frustrated and quite worried that this attack could take place.
And one of the other interesting things about Finsbury Park that I think is quite unique is that you have these very diverse communities, but you also
have giant soccer stadium around here. So you have the football fans for Arsenal, London, literally going past that mosque every weekend.
So it is that kind of community that really has a huge diverse mix of people who couldn't be more different and at the same time really feel a
big bonding. And I think that's giving them a lot of strength now.
WARD: And that what's makes London London.
PLEITGEN: It certainly does.
WARD: Fred Pleitgen, thank you for joining us.
Well, Nina Dos Santos is following the police investigation. She's at Scotland Yard.
Nina, the suspect now has been named as Darren Osborne, a resident of Cardiff in Wales. What are you learning about him?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far what the police have been saying, because remember, that the suspect's name seems to be coming from
the British media at the moment, the details that we have from the police are that he does remain in custody, 47-year-old man here, and he's probably
in custody in a South London Police Station.
He's been charged with attempted murder as well as preparing, commissioning and instigating acts of terrorism. Now it seems as though this individual
was not known to authorities according to the justice minister, Ben Wallace, when he spoke to CNN earlier today.
Police still working on the assumption that he was working alone despite the fact that eyewitness accounts that CNN has and various other media
companies have spoken to in the immediate aftermath of the attack suggested that perhaps there were other people inside the van, perhaps up to three
individuals who might have been involved in this. The police saying we're urgently appealing to witnesses who were there at the time of the attack to
send us whatever cell phone video footage you have, so that we can try and figure out whether or not he was acting alone.
There are no reports of knife injuries among those nine individuals who are taken to hospital. The nine people who were sadly injured in this attack.
And then one person obviously lost their life as well, Clarissa. That's interesting because it is different to the Westminster and also the London
Bridge attacks more recently when a van was first used to plow into pedestrians and then knives came out when they were stabbed afterwards.
So a lot of the casualties were actually as a result of knife attacks. No reports of the injuries having been from knives. There does seem to be a
Wales connection here, because the British media is naming this individual, Darren Osborne, as saying that he was a father of four from Cardiff in
We know that the van came from Wales. It was hired from a car rental company there that confirmed that and said that they are cooperating with
police. And the Metropolitan Police earlier today said that they had raided a residential address in Cardiff in Wales.
WARD: OK. Nina Dos Santos at Scotland Yard, thank you so much.
Well, Mak Chishty was head of community engagement for London's Metropolitan Police and as commander was the most senior Muslim officer in
Britain's police force before he retired earlier this year.
We're lucky to have him joining us on the show now.
Thank you for being with us.
Are we trapped in a vicious cycle now, where we go from attack to retaliation, to attack?
MAKHDUM ALI CHISHTY, FORMER COMMANDER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: There is a real danger that we are. Because we have seen that -- none attacks are
linked by intelligence. There's no big overall strategic network, except that for the fact that I think people will get energy and motivation by
seeing one attack burying another.
And what's different about this one is because this is on the other extremist level where it's a clearly targeted attack against Muslims. And
what we don't want now is retribution. To call for calm amongst the great people of the United Kingdom to stand together against this madness.
WARD: How alarmed were you to see, though. It is hard not to see the parallels that this attacker used a van, a van that has been used by a lot
of ISIS supporters in their sort of lone wolf attacks.
It seems so odd that these extremists are now borrowing tactics from each other, almost doing copycat.
CHISHTY: Yes. Well, one thing that we do worry about often in the aftermath of any such big disaster or major incident is a copycat issue and
we're mindful that these tactics are easily and highly transportable and easy to do.
So what we're trying to do (INAUDIBLE) to try and have less physical protection, but make sure that the mind sets of people don't lead them down
this dangerous path to begin with.
[14:10:00] WARD: And what about the issue of Islamophobia? I know a lot of people in this community feels that doesn't get enough attention in the
media, that we need to be talking about this more.
During your experience and tenure, how big of a problem do you see this as being in the UK and how big of a problem do you forecast it remaining?
CHISHTY: Well, can I just make two points on that. The first point is, how sensitive people are at the moment. So there is a lot of consternation
throughout the early hours of this morning, questioning why this wasn't categorized as a terrorist event, when in actual fact it had been.
The incident was reported 21 this past midnight, 28 this past and it has been categorize as that. Messaging went as quick as we would like, but
nevertheless it was the right decision to make sure it was a terrorist incident.
Secondly, after Westminster Bridge attack, there was a very slight rise in Islamophobic attacks. The Manchester one, we saw a great deal rise and the
London Bridge one, what we saw was an escalation to points that we haven't seen before together with an alliance, anti-Muslim sentiment, which is more
Indicated to me and everybody else that there has been a change around here, which means we have to deal with that. Reassure people and make sure
that collision wins the day through integration.
WARD: OK, bringing everyone back from the brink. Thank you so much, Mak Chishty, for joining us.
Well, police in Paris, meanwhile have taken down an armed man after he ram his car into a police van. Investigators say this could have been much
worse since the car was packed with explosives and weapons.
Melissa Bell joins us now live from Paris with an update.
Melissa, what are you learning?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we now know, Clarissa, is that an anti-terror investigation is under way. Authorities are trying to
understand precisely what was motivating this man who drove just over four hours ago now, his car down the Champs-Elysees, overtook a police convoy
ramming into a police truck twice.
Perhaps I can just show you, Clarissa, down on the Champs-Elysees, that part of it that is still cordoned off more than four hours after the
You could see there the white car is finally being picked through by explosives experts. Because what has now been confirmed to us by France's
interior minister is that the car contain not only weapons, but large quantities of explosives enough to blow the vehicle up.
So the theory is now that the man was hoping to set off an explosion with the impact of his car against the truck and explosion that never took
place. Instead, what we have been seeing on a lot of the amateur footage, Clarissa, is thick, yellow smoke emerging from the car as the devices
failed to detonate.
We now know also that the man involved, the assailant, has died.
WARD: OK, Melissa Bell, thank you so much for joining us there from Paris.
Well, after the break, as the UK faces another attack at home, overseas the country enters its toughest negotiations in generations as Brexit talks
One of the EU's top foreign affair voices joins me to break down just what will happen next.
[14:15:00] WARD: Welcome back to the program live from London's Finsbury Park.
Events here unfolding on a particularly crucial day for Britain as official Brexit negotiations got under way in Brussels, both sides stress the need
for common ground and the lifting of uncertainty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DAVIS, UK BREXIT SECRETARY: There is a long way to go, but we're off to a promising start. We are taking the first critical steps together.
Now we have a shared responsibility to deliver quick and substantive progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: Erin McLaughlin has been following the first day of the talks. She joins us now live from the Belgian capital.
Erin, how was the mood?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Clarissa. Well, today, the mood was one of agreement, both sides agreeing on the priorities for these
negotiations going forward. And it's pretty much in line with what the EU had originally envisioned, that as a first step, both sides would be
discussing the financial settlement, the rights of citizens as well as an ongoing dialogue on the Northern Ireland situation.
Once the European Council has determined that enough progress has been made on those areas, that's when the two sides will go on to discuss a future
That seemingly in contrast, however, to what the UK had originally wanted. They originally said they wanted the future relationship discussed in
parallel to these other issues.
And that was something that the Brexit Secretary David Davis was asked about in that press conference. He was asked whether or not it was a sign
of weakness on the part of the UK that the sequencing was agreed upon in this manner.
He said that it is not how -- it's not all about how the talks start. It's rather how the talks end saying that this is in line with what British
Prime Minister Theresa May had envisioned when she triggered Article 50 of the EU treaty. In terms of next steps, we are expecting a position paper
from the UK on the citizen's issue on Monday, the rights of citizens both in the UK and in the EU really seen as a top priority going forward.
WARD: And so, Erin, just briefly, what are the next key milestones now as we go ahead, what should we be looking out for?
MCLAUGHLIN: It will -- as I said, we are expecting that position paper from the UK on Monday. We have already seen two position papers from the
EU, one on the financial settlement, one on the rights of citizens. It is a top priority for the EU and for the UK, the settlement of the fate of
some 4.5 million citizens living both in the UK and in the EU.
Their fate sort of swings in the balance out of all of these negotiations. So really both sides today agreeing that as a priority, they'll try to
introduce some certainty into the situation of the citizens.
WARD: OK. Erin McLaughlin with us in Brussels, thank you so much.
It's day one and, of course, hopes are high for a strong partnership. But what happens from here will be anything but easy.
Today, negotiators focus on laying out a timetable for the extensive list of issues that needs to be discussed. And I'm joined now by Elmar Brok.
He is a member of the European parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and he is joining us live from Brussels.
Mr. Brok, can I just start by asking you, what was your read on today's meetings? It seemed everybody was on their best behavior. How long will
it last, do you think?
ELMAR BROK, MEMBER, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Look, the devil is always in the details. This was a better start than I
thought. There was an agreement on the sequences. We now know what has to be negotiated first and then we have to find some sort of progress to go to
further commissions like the debate and negotiations about the future relationship, which is British opinion probably a free trade agreement.
But citizens rights, the financial implications, the Irish situation are so important that we have to find certain progress on that questions before we
can start with the other questions.
WARD: And I guess the next question would be what was your reaction to the UK election? Because, of course, the instability that has been fermented
as a result of that is likely to be impact these Brexit negotiations.
BROK: We had hoped that Theresa May would win and brought the majority because a strong leader is more able to do compromises because he can
deliver at home -- the majority at home in the parliament, and now we are in a very uncertain situation with prime minister who has no real majority,
whose authority is not so strong anymore. It makes it sometimes much more difficult to have compromises.
WARD: Do you think that plays --
[14:20:00] BROK: You know, this situation can be overcome.
WARD: Do you think that plays into the Europeans' hands. Does that give them an advantage then?
BROK: We don't want to have advantages, we want constructive solution. Brexit is damaging for all of us. More for Britain because of the
different size of trade powers tend to run, for example. And all 27 nations are very close together as we have never seen before --
institution, council, parliament and commission.
But I think it would see this as an advantage if on the other side it is a clear position, and a strong leader that is always in conversations is
better. Weak leader is not able to do compromises and therefore we do not see an advantage.
WARD: And so I suppose my final question would be, what do you see as being Europe's red line? We heard our reporter Erin McLaughlin just now
talking about the issues of citizens rights, but what for you are the absolute red lines?
BROK: Look, I think to find a solution for the citizens we're right on our promises when we went to other EU countries. The obligations Britain has
to fulfill that is the divorce agreement and the very difficult situation in Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement is in danger where a border, a hard
border might come between the two Irelands. It's an important problem.
But what we have the line is (INAUDIBLE), it doesn't matter whether we come to total market, customs union or free trade agreement, but everything has
its special conditions Britain has to fulfill, but we have to see that Britain must understand that it is not a punishment, revenge, a country
which leads cannot have a similar advantage as a country which stays, a country which delivers all the costs for the continuation of the European
Union and I think that must b accepted and that is the basis for the negotiations.
WARD: OK. Some tough negotiations lie ahead, no doubt. Thank you so much, Elmar Brok for joining us from Brussels.
Well, Britain has been mourning the victims of a devastating fire, even as anger has been building and officials are pointing fingers. We will tell
you what police say about the investigation at the Grenfell Tower, that's coming up.
[14:25:15] WARD: Welcome back to the program. We are live from London's Finsbury Park tonight.
And as police are investigating this attack, the city is still mourning the victims of another tragedy, that's last Wednesday's fire at an apartment
Our Samuel Burke reports.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A moment of silence across the UK to honor the dozens and dozens of people who lost
their lives at Grenfell Towers.
At the scene of the inferno, the fire fighting teams descended from the charred building and stood at order. Day by day, the death toll
increasing, difficult even for officials to announce to the public.
STUART CUNDY, METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER: I'm afraid to say there are now 79 people that we believe are either dead or missing and I have
sadly have to presume are dead.
BURKE: Complicating the task of accounting for the dead is the fear entire families may have burned alive together. So there is no immediate family
member to even report a loved one missing. And because so many immigrants lived here, dental records must be sent from all around the world.
Some family and friends have only just now mustered up the courage to come to the horrific scene to see it for themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a nice guy.
BURKE: And there is increased speculation about the role new siding on the 24 story tower may have played in the fire, even from the highest ranks of
the UK government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My understanding is that the cladding in question, this flammable cladding, which is banned in Europe and the U.S., is also banned
BURKE: With one member of the opposition party labeling it corporate manslaughter, the UK government has launched a public inquiry.
CUNDY: I will do everything within my gift to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
BURKE: Even for the people in the area who didn't lose loved ones, the trauma continues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm seeing body bags coming out of the tower. There has been tents erected outside my flat. And I'm just -- it's just a living
BURKE: And worst may be yet to come in accounting for the loss. Officials fearing the death toll could easily pass 100. A number hard to grasp until
you see it personalized in images of those who have been confirmed dead, like 65-year-old Anthony Dissen. And look at faces on the missing posters
plastered on every inch of space around the tower.
Samuel Burke, CNN, London.
WARD: And Great Britain is not the only country that has been suffering. In Central Portugal, a raging wildfire has decimated the landscape, killing
at least 62 people and injuring dozens more. Officials say the fire was caused by lightning from dry thunderstorms. More than 1500 firefighters
are fighting the blaze, which spread over the weekend. The Portuguese government has declared three days of national mourning.
Well, coming up after the break, we'll have more on the attack near the London mosque that is just behind me.
[14:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WARD: Welcome back to the program live from north London. You can see a significant police presence here behind us near Finsbury mosque. Now,
British media outlets are now reporting that Darren Osbourne from Cardiff, Wales, is the man who allegedly drove a van into a crowd of worshippers
early on Monday.
Here is what else we know this hour. The worshippers were leaving evening Ramadan prayers just after midnight at the Finsbury mosque when 47-year-old
Osbourne is suspected of steering a van into the crowd, nine people were hospitalized, one man was found dead at the scene. All of the victims are
from the Muslim community. The crowd wrestled the driver to the ground and held him there until police arrived.
He is now being housed on suspicion of terrorism offenses. The home (ph) office tells CNN he was not previously known to security services.
Counterterrorism police are now investigating the attack. They say they believe the attacker acted alone. Witnesses say this was a deliberate
attack on Muslims. Certainly it has shaken the local community to its core. The Finsbury Park mosque and the surrounding area have been through hard
times before. Take a look.
WARD: Finsbury Park sits in one of the most diverse regions of London, home to historic Irish and Afro-Caribbean communities and large Muslim and
Jewish populations. That's one of the reasons this attack feels so raw to the local people. And Met police commissioner Cressida Dick paid tribute to
the community cohesion.
CRESSIDA DICK, COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPPOLITAN POLICE: This is a highly integrated, truly diverse and multicultural place. People who perpetrate
attacks like this think they will break our society down and cause division between us. And they won't do that and they won't win. This is a very
resilient city, and this is a very, very resilient set of communities.
WARD: The Finsbury Park mosque is at the heart of this community. The imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, has been praised for helping to apprehend the
attacker and keep him safe from an angry public until the police came.
MOHAMMED MAHMOUD, IMAM: A police van drove past by coincidence so we flagged them down, we told them the situation that there is a man, he's
restrained, he mowed down a group of people with his van and there is a mob attempting to hurt him. If you don't take him, god forbid he might be
seriously hurt. So, we pushed people away from him until he was safely taken by police into custody and put in the back of the van.
WARD: In 2014, the mosque became only the third place of worship to be awarded a visible quality mark, by the charity commission awarded only to
faith organizations that are inclusive and welcoming. An achievement all the more remarkable considering how notorious the mosque was in the
It was closed in 2003 after concerns it was a hotbed of extremism. The imam was the notorious Abu Hamza who was convicted of 11 terrorism charges in
the United States. Richard Reed, who attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight in 2002 with a shoe bomb worshipped there. But the Finsbury
Park community has roots that run deep, and its resilience through the decades is testament to its strength.
WARD: Muhbeen Hussain is the founder of the British Muslim Youth. He joins me via Skype from London. I just want to start out by gauging what is the
reaction of the Muslim community to this attack? Obviously people are horrified, but how concerned are they that Islamophobia in this country is
getting out of control?
MUHBEEN HUSSAIN, FOUNDER, BRITISH MUSLIM YOUTH: Well, being first and foremost, we must recognize not how the Muslim community reacted, but how
everybody in this nation reacted. What we have to remember is we got a very difficult month this last month in Britain. We've had tragedies after
We had the horrific attack in Manchester, then we saw the attacks in London Bridge and borough markets and recently we've had the tragedy of Grenfell
Tower and like many people, a lot of people felt not another victim -- not more victims to add to this
[14:35:00] in this tragic month. And that's how general people felt. And yes, I think it's important that you talk about how the Muslim community
also felt because I went there on the scene, just a few hours after the attack happened -- took place, and many people were really emotional. They
were traumatized, but also frustrated at the same time after seeing the attack take place.
WARD: And I just wonder, you know, we heard from Prime Minister Theresa May. She has vowed to sort of stomp out the scourge of extremism, whether
on the radical Islamist side, whether it's on the Islamic -- radical Islamophobic side. How realistic do you think that is? Do you have
confidence that the British government and the British police have the tools and policies in place to avert these kinds of attacks from happening?
HUSSAIN: I think when it comes to far extremism, we have to realize that governments have failed and I'm not talking about governments in the U.K.
or in the European level but on international level. There has been, you know, a poor lady that was kidnapped and also, you know, Islamophobic
attack in the U.S. today. The point I want to make today is very clearly these far right attacks have been growing. It is a real disturbance that I
took a tragedy like this for Theresa May to really recognize far right extremism.
And what people talk about that we had far right terrorist attack like this one today and like the one a year ago, which actually took the life of our
brave member of parliament, Jo Cox. Many people don't remember the name of (INAUDIBLE) Ahmed (ph) who was an 81-year-old elderly man who was also
murdered by extreme terrorists. Mohammed Salee (ph) who was murdered by a neo-Nazi terrorist.
These types of attacks have been happening and they haven't been given the recognition and they haven't been -- we haven't been working on tackling
far right extremism. One thing we realize is all these types of extremism, they are violent, they are barbaric, they are inhumane and they have the
ideology to kill and this is why we need to root them out.
They try to divide us and there are aims of trying to divide us. But what we've seen in Britain whether it's been in Manchester or in London or today
in Londin in Finsbury Park is communities come together, and they come together louder and stronger than ever before.
WARD: It has been inspiring to see all different communities coming together not just in this attack but all these other attacks that we have
seen. One more question I just wanted to ask you, quickly, some people have criticized authorities and the media for not calling it terrorism quickly
enough. What is your sense of that?
HUSSAIN: I think we have to understand the sentiments on the ground. What happened was if -- this is a similar incident that took place in the
Grenfell Tower. The people on the ground were not listened to. What in reality actually took place because I was there, I was talking to
eyewitnesses. The media and the broadcasters couldn't call it a terrorist situation until the Met Police have confirmed it.
But the people on the ground, they had seen a man murdered. They confirmed with their own eyes a man, you know, was killed. They saw a man that was
attacking people and saying kill all Muslims. For them on the ground it was very real, a very real terrorist attack. But that delay was very
frustrating for them because they've been there, they've seen it, and they knew the facts.
It was up to the authorities to also collaborate and to actually release that. Also, again, the issue is previously other attacks haven't been
recognized and that frustration was also re-emerging.
WARD: OK, Muhbeen Hussain. Thank you so much for your perspective.
Well, while Brexit negotiators are working hard in Brussels, the British and Irish prime ministers sat down at 10 Downing Street. We will go live
there with a look at their meeting.
[14:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WARD: Welcome back to the program. We are live here at London's Finsbury Park where last night a van plowed into a large group of Muslim worshipers.
Many people injured. One man found dead on the scene. Fred Pleitgen has been here all day covering the story. Just bring us up to speed, Fred, with
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean the latest is now that we are naming the man who is suspected of this, Darren Osbourne, who is apparently and this is according
to British media, from Cardiff in Wales. (INAUDIBLE) starts putting the puzzle together if you will where, you know, they found out very quickly
that the company that the van was rented from is in Cardiff as well. That seems to have been where the investigation started.
I think one of the things that the investigators will now be looking at, you know, all the early indications are that he might have acted alone.
Remember that in the early stages there were reports from eyewitnesses saying they thought that maybe there were two other people who had exited
the van. Police seem to have discarded that pretty quickly and said it seems it was like he was the only one at the wheel.
I think now what they're going to be looking at is whether or not he had any sort of support, whether or not there might have been some sort of
network, any sort of logistical support behind all of this or whether or not he did this on his own. But this is also something, you know, we'e been
talking about so much, these sort of low tech attacks, like the one you're seeing right now.
There probably would have been absolutely nothing to make the car company that rented these vans suspicious that someone would have rented a van from
them. It is so difficult --
WARD: It's so crazy that extremist groups on opposite sides of the divide are borrowing the same tactics from each other.
PLEITGEN: It is very, very remarkable that we keep talking about this as, you know, something that was used in ISIS inspired attacks and now used in
something like this. That is definitely remarkable. But it also makes it so difficult for the authorities to try and prevent something like this
because vans get rented as you know, all the time. And of course, there is no background check or anything on renting a vehicle.
So it is impossible to stop and I think one of the things that the police really grappled with and authorities really grappled with is how much can
you insulate the public from something like this?
PLEITGEN: Can you put barriers everywhere. Make the sidewalk -- do we want that? Do people want that? Do they want to live in something like that?
WARD: What is your sense, based on talking to people in the community, during the day?
PLEITGEN: You know, I have to say, with the past couple of weeks here in London, we always talk about, you know, how tough the Londoners are and
that's definitely true. But there was concern among people that I spoke to after the London Bridge attack and after this as well saying, you know, of
course they're worried about their public safety.
And I think it's something that's normal, to be worried about your public safety when a string of things like this happens. But at the same time, I
don't think anybody would want to live in a place where, you know, security is so tight that, you know, many people feel they couldn't breathe.
WARD: -- change the way of life.
PLEITGEN: It's a very difficult dilemma and one of the things I think that we see in all these things, I mean the police have been doing a great job
both in the London attacks and the London Bridge attacks and in this one as well. You know, being on the scene quickly, dealing with the threat
quickly, but it is impossible for them to prevent the --
WARD: And I have to say as well how remarkable it was, they captured the driver and held on to him, not a touch, not a harm on him, nobody hurt him
until police arrived at the scene. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.>
From crisis at home to Brexit talks, the challenges facing British Prime Minister Theresa May may seem kind of endless right now. While her Brexit
secretary started critical talks abroad, Mrs. May was focusing on relations a little closer to home, meeting with Ireland's new prime minister Leo
Veradka. Our Nic Robertson is live outside 10 Downing Street. He joins us now. Nic, how did it go?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the meeting with Leo Veradka was perhaps a little shorter than the prime minister
anticipated because she woke up to the unexpected news, unwanted news of the attack overnight and she did what she hadn't done last week which was
to make sure she met with members of the community quickly. That was clearly her priority. So that did seem to push back the meeting with the
new Irish Taoiseach, the prime minister there, Leo Veradka, 38-years-old. A meeting where there were
[14:45:00] a lot of issues to discuss, one of them of course, Brexit, because Britain and the Republic of Ireland now have the European Union's
only land border with Britain so, this is an issue. It's an issue for E.U. negotiators.
So, the Irish Taoiseach was wanting to make sure that the border continues to be open, that there continues to be a flow of trade across there and the
British prime minister Theresa May said that there would be, that it would be a seamless border but it would be without friction, a frictionless
border. That's what the Irish prime minister wanted to hear, $1.3 billion of business a week between Britain and the Republic of Ireland. So, it
means a lot to both countries.
Meanwhile in Brussels, David Davis as you said was getting those talks going with Michel Barnier, the E.U.'s chief negotiator, and Barnier laying
out northern Ireland, one of the issues of concern, the rights of E.U. citizens living inside Britain, a concern as well as sorting out the bill,
if you will, for Britain to leave the European Union.
And Theresa May also, you know, on that issue of rights for E.U. citizens, her office released a statement later in the day saying that when she goes
to Europe later this week and meets with European leaders, she will be explaining Britain's deal, if you will, Britain's rights that it wants to
grant -- it wants to see granted for British citizens living in Europe, but the rights Britain wants to grant for E.U. citizens living right now in
Britain. So, that ball really is rolling for Theresa May. Perhaps it didn't get off the way that she had hoped being distracted with so many other
issues as well.
WARD: And, Nic, just briefly, it's obviously been a brutal couple of weeks for Theresa May. I'm sure you saw the paper as I did yesterday, everyone
taking bets on how long she can survive. Is there any sense that that is really wearing on morale over at Downing Street?
ROBERTSON: You know, Theresa May always seems to do best when she's under huge pressure to perform. She certainly had a wake-up call with the
election, she had a wake-up call about how vulnerable she can be at this time when she's exceptionally vulnerable already with the public backlash.
So, when she spoke this morning, it was clear, it was decisive, it was everything she would -- her supporters would hope it would be.
She did go to the Finsbury Park mosque and it was interesting today to hear from Borris Johnson who some consider a leader among the potential
leadership challengers for her. He was backing her on Brexit, backing the move saying that the longer -- Britain has to look to the long-term goal
that this will be better for Britain, it will be better for the European Union.
So, the language if you will publicly, is one of support for what Theresa May is doing. But I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that if
she does stumble right now, this will reflect badly and could precipitate a move against that. She's far from out of the woods yet.
WARD: OK. Nic Robertson on all of the political intrigue at 10 Downing Street. Thank you so much.
In the light of the attacks on Muslims in the U.K., we imagine the legacy of the British Muslim community. A look at this country's shared history
coming up next.
[14:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WARD: Welcome back to the program live from north London, the site of an attack on Muslim worshippers near a mosque this morning. Well earlier, my
colleague Max Foster spoke with Saeed Hashe who says he helped pull the suspect out of the van and take him to the ground.
SAEED HASHI, WITNESS: It was speeding so I thought maybe because of the traffic light or something or he's late for work. Suddenly he turned right
to the mosque so I was shocked and we were screaming and he hit first a woman, old Somalian woman, in her 60s, and another two Moroccan or Algerian
guy, Then he drove a bus, he hit another three, four, five, six, seven and suddenly the car stopped. So we went after him. We managed to get him out
of the car.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You ran up to the van --
FOSTER: You pulled the guy out?
HASHI: But he punched me one on the head. I've got marks there.
HASHI: And I called my friends. My friends, they came running. We got him out of the car because one of them (INAUDIBLE) from the other side, he
pushed him from the vehicle. And we get him out of the car. And he started fighting with us. He was a bit muscling (ph) guy.
HASHI: And police bus, there is a police bus who saw the situation, they didn't a stop --
FOSTER: The police went past.
FOESTER: They didn't know what was going on.
HASHI: Yes. They thought it was a fight or something. And we stopped the guy and we put him on the floor and people had managed to call the police.
And he bite me on my thumb as well and here as well --
FOSTER: Yes, you got some bruising and injuries that you got -- your t- shirt is cut. This was during the scuffle with him?
FOSTER: There were three of you, right? You got him to the ground.
FOSTER: And you held him there for how long?
HASHI: Good for 10 minutes.
FOSTER: Until the police came
FOSTER: Describe that 10 minutes.
HASHI: He was really shouting and aggressive. Bad words and something like that so we didn't talk to him, but he was just spitting on us and that.
FOSTER: There were crowds gathering around you and obviously people were angry.
HASHI: Really were angry, yes, but we just managed them not touch him like that.
FOSTER: What you're describing here is people wanted to attack him, right.
FOSTER: And you managed to keep people away from him.
FOSTER: And were you worried that the police wouldn't come or you knew that police would come --
HASHI: We worried the police didn't come and the guy is going to get hurt and the situation going to get worse.
FOSTER: I can't imagine what that was like to go through, but looking back on that, what did you think about how you reacted and what the atmosphere
was like there?
HASHI: The atmosphere was full of anger because of the last 10 days of Ramadan and we're here for worship and not for anything else and it's a
late time and we got work to do as well at the same time.
FOSTER: The atmosphere this morning is one of some anger because they're not necessarily pleased with the way it is being covered and the way
politicians are talking about this. What are your thoughts about that?
HASHI: We haven't seen nothing, we haven't seen helicopter above us. We haven't seen a police with a gun. They should come with a gun immediately
because it's a terrible act.
HASHI: You're saying there's a different response to this than what happened to other terror attacks?
HASHSI: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) respond with the police.
FOSTER: I think you're an incredibly brave person to do what you did. Do you think it was instinctive or did you think about what you did? You just
felt like you wanted to stop him going through your mind.
HASHI: To be honest I was in a shock of state, state of shock.
HASHI: So, I didn't what I was doing.
FOSTER: Almost automatically.
FOSTER: And also, the other thing you have achieved is you managed to keep him alive.
FOSTER: And that man -- the police now have him and they can get to the bottom of why he did this. So that's really important.
HASHI: Yes, true. There was people (INAUDIBLE) Muslim guy from the mosque, they were bringing bottles.
FOSTER: They wanted to attack him?
FOSTER: How much longer do you think you would have been able to keep him safe?
HASHI: Not more than 10 minutes.
FOSTER: OK, well, our thoughts are with you, the whole community, because simply with you and your heroism last night.
HASHI: I'm just heading to the hospital now. Thank you.
FOSTER: Well, OK. Thank you very much indeed.
WARD: An inspiring story of heroism there. And a final thought tonight. Imagine people tracing their routes back through 500 years of British
history. That's the legacy of British Muslims, like the ones under attack this morning. The first openly practicing Muslims existed in the U.K. all
the way back in the 16th century under Queen Elizabeth I. The monarch was
[14:55:00] no stranger to Islam, trading with Muslim nations and a Muslim woman even became a beloved servant to the queen just after her reign
ended. Shakespeare debut his great tragedy, "Othello," whose title character was more of Muslim roots from these beginnings.
The numbers of British Muslims grew and the first mosque built for purpose arrived in (INAUDIBLE) in 1889. In the following century, millions of
Muslims from Asia came to the country's aid during both World Wars. Today, around 5 percent of the British population is Muslim, a vital fragment of
the nation that helps make up the whole.
In this morning's attacks on one community is an attack on all of the values and all the freedoms of everyone right here in Great Britain. Well,
that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and twitter,
@clarissaward. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.
[15:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)