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Barcelona Wrapped in Terror; Trump Stays Firm with his Message; The Aftermath Of Deadly Terror Attacks At Barcelona; Images Show New Mudslide Threat In Sierra Leone; Police: Deadly House Explosion Linked Man Attack. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 18, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: Welcome to our viewers around the world. We continue following the breaking news this hour here on CNN. I'm George Howell at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, CNN: And I'm Becky Anderson in Barcelona for you. And we begin with breaking news. Five armed terror suspects killed by police in Spain. Police in the coastal city of Cambrils are calling it a possible terror attack.

A government official says their car seen here upside down had knock several people. A shootout with police ensued and there is this video from inside a night club. Have a look.

And you hear what sounds like gunfire, still no official word of what went on there. Another video appears to show what happened next. And we must warn you this is very graphic.

You see what appears to be bodies at the scene afterwards. Police say four terror suspects were killed, a fifth later died of his wound. Emergency officials say six civilians were also hurt, two of them seriously.

Well, the events in Cambrils came just hours after a terror here in Barcelona Thursday where a van mowed down pedestrians on the popular Las Ramblas Avenue. We've just got word that police have arrested a third suspect in connection with these attacks in Spain.

Now I want to share images of the Barcelona attack. But I warn you again that some of these are very gruesome. The van driver who abandon the vehicle and it stay to the (Inaudible) says the people behind the van attack were, quote, "soldiers of the Islamic state."

We know one of the suspects is from Morocco and one from the Spanish enclave of Mella in Northern Africa. The prime minister has called for three days of mourning here.


MARIANO RAJOY, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The whole of Spain is moved by the same kind of feeling that has been experienced here in Barcelona. Today, combatting terrorism is the top priority of all free societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global.

We all share the same love of freedom, the dignity of a human being and justice, rather than fear. We are all allied in that cause. It is clear we are united in pain today, but also in the determination to fight against this barbarity.


ANDERSON: Well, hours earlier, a man was killed in a house explosion in the city of Alcanar, that's about 200 kilometers or about 120 miles down the coast from Barcelona. Police say there was a connection to the van attack in Las Ramblas.

Well, I got another video now to show you of the immediate aftermath of that van attack. And again, I will continue to warn you as we move through these hours that the images that you will see will be graphic because in those very few terrifying moments Las Ramblas became a horrific bloody scene.

The driver of the van turned on to the pedestrian concourse and then accelerated. One witness said the vehicle was going very fast, possibly 80 kilometers an hour as it careened from side to side hitting anybody in its path.

[03:05:03] By the time the driver stop and left the vehicle, 13 people were dead or dying. More than 100 lay hurt.

Well, for more on what's happening in Spain and what continues t go on, I'm joined by Will Geddes, he's the managing director of the security company International Corporate Protection. And I say what continues to come because this is an ongoing situation here, not necessarily on Las Ramblas, which is just behind us here, where we know 13 have been killed, 100 injured. And the driver of that van still on the run.

But now what's going on just a miles away from here. Your thoughts.

WILL GEDDES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE PROTECTION: There are number of different factors in play right now, Becky. We know the situation is very much live with the authorities.

Some of my local sources are telling me that they are working incredibly hard, but also very, very fast behind the scenes obviously in trying to determine who is actually potentially involved in either each of this particular attacks or whether they are actually co- joined.

And whether this is a collaborative series of attacks, which is obviously what we in the counterterrorism world fear the most, which is why you have parallel attacks happening in various different locations at the same time as sort of Mumbai style attack as we've seen historically.

Now, the authorities are going to be looking for that driver, most importantly. But they have acquired some of the details behind the van who are rented, especially the second van that was found just outside Barcelona in the town of Vic.

But again, it's the con activity between these groups and that's a critical fight too right now.

ANDERSON: And it does appear that authorities at least believe these are connected attacks, correct? That's what your sources are telling you.

GEDDES: Yes, this is what we're believing right now. But again, this is only speculation as we both know in the first instances of this and the aftermath of these attacks and these types of incidents information is going to be quite foggy. So we got away for the authorities to confirm it.

But if it is indeed, two separate cells operating that could actually be even more concerning because there could be a number of cells working in isolation across the country. And we know the Spanish authorities have been working very, very hard against the Islamic extremism.

ANDERSON: So let's just go through what we do know. Because there's lot that we don't at this point. But we do know categorically is that there was an explosion in a home in a town called Alcanar, which is about 100 -- 200 kilometers south of here. That was on Wednesday. And at the time it seems police believe it was a gas explosion in some sort. One person killed, I think six wounded in that.

And we get to Thursday and the deadly attack on Las Ramblas here where we heard that people were running in sort of tidal wave to get away and people are being thrown across the street. And then overnight, that's 5 o'clock on Thursday, overnight and into the night this other attack in Cambrils. Again, southwest of this city. It's disturbing.


GEDDES: Yes, I mean, I think what is interesting is also that we're looking at a number of arrest is already been achieved. I think the figures are approximately four right now, it's three or four that they have, again, this is quite foggy. The methods of attack very similar as we saw in Las Ramblas, it was a vehicle delivery platform. And the second obviously attack overnight, again, a vehicle delivery platform.

There were more people in the second attack overnight than they were obviously in this particular attack on Las Ramblas which was believed to be only two individuals.

But, again, we're waiting for more information -- more confirmation. But something that is reassuring is the Spanish authorities are very, very quick to release updates, which is necessary. I think not only to just reassure the Barcelonan residents, but also the tourist and the visitors here.

ANDERSON: And very quick to react to what's going on people who witnessed who were there on Las Ramblas yesterday witnessed this terrifying scene said the police and the security service were very, very quickly on to the scene and were helping them to get to safety. Let's just consider the context to what is happening now that hasn't been a significance certainly not ISIS-inspired attack ever here, but a significant attacks since 2004, which is an Al Qaeda inspired attack at the Madrid train station. One of the biggest on mainland Europe.

But we do know that there have been numerous arrests in this area over the past months of ISIS facilitation unit as they've been.


ANDERSON: Were there warning signs?

GEDDES: There were warning signs. There were rumors also that there was a plot that was foiled earlier this year here in Barcelona. There's a very Bohemian culture here in Barcelona and those who visit here will know that it very much prevails across the entire city, which is almost a rich ground for fertilizing, or if you like, developing this kind of radicalization or harboring it to a certain degree.

[03:09:56] We know the authorities have intercepted a number of different individuals and made arrest, not only here in the mainland, but also in the Canary's in the Balearic Islands. So, and there is probably about the estimation of about 120 or so Spanish nationals that have actually left Spain to go and join Islamic state in Syria and Iraq.

So, you know, they've got a fairly good game on in terms of the intelligence agencies in trying to monitor as much as they can.

ANDERSON: Briefly, is that squeeze on ISIS in Iraq and Syria resulting in this sort of incident do you believe at this point?

GEDDES: I think absolutely without question, Becky. We know that since 2014 that the higher echelons of Islamic state were promoting and encouraging returning fighters to carry out attacks in their home nations. I think as their position and strongholds diminished in Syria and in Iraq, it only means that some of those fighters who do not in combat will be returning to, or attempting to return to their own countries.

And unfortunately, I think we have leaks on ahead of us.

ANDERSON: Certainly aspiring those who are already here. Will, a pleasure of having you onto, thank you.

Well, once again, as Will describe the vehicle has been turned into an instrument of death. It's low cost, low maintenance and can be highly deadly. Here are some of the most significant recent examples. In July last year, a man inspired by ISIS plowed a truck to the crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice in France. He killed 85 people.

In Berlin, just before Christmas last year, 12 people were murdered when a tractor trailer was rammed into a festive market. The suspect later killed in a shootout with police. In London, this year, two attacks involved vehicles. One in Westminster in March where five people died and the attack on London Bridge just back in June where eight people were killed.

And it's not only those inspired by ISIS who inflict this type of terror. Last week, Charlottesville, Virginia, anti-racism protester Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd.

Well, joining me now from London is Peter Neumann, he is professor of security studies at Kings College London. Will is just describing this almost as the new norm as it were. Your thoughts and reflections of what you have seen and heard here over the past 24 hours in what is clearly still an ongoing operation.

PETER NEUMANN, PROFESSOR, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: Well, there's two in particular, one is this clearly fits the ISIS pattern. We've had a declaration from ISIS that was disseminated through the right channels was going to be really interesting to find out who the next 48 hours is what exact connection. What exactly link existed between ISIS central in Syria and the people who operated on the ground.

Were they merely inspired, were they directed does this network of people. For example, include return foreign fighters. The second point is also something you just mentioned, which is the fact that Barcelona and Catalonia has been a hotbed for radical preachers for radical networks not only for the past few years, not only for the ISISI period.

But in fact, for over 10 years. Ten years ago was a major terrorist plots in Barcelona, which really alerted the police there to the threat. And ever since they have been preparing for exactly this day.

ANDERSON: This just I go a little deeper into what you just said your first point was authorities will have to work out whether this was ISIS specific or ISIS inspired. Does it matter at this point, and if so, why.

NEUMANN: Yes. It does matter because typically there are two implications. One is that if it was directed that typically seems to be kind of a wider network attached to that. We're trying to work that out right now in the sense of where these different types of attacks that we've seen over the past week where they're connected if it was directed. It is more likely that they are connected.

And secondly of course, is this something that perhaps is a response to the decline of the caliphate. Is this something that is steered and directed as a response to attacks that are already taking place in Syria and Iran.

ANDERSON: I want you to just to interrogate the fact that this is still, it seems an ongoing operation. We have heard this morning of reports of a further arrest. We know that there have been two arrests of a Moroccan and a Spaniard living in there in a Spanish enclave in North Africa.

We know there was a death at the explosion at a house on Wednesday, and we know and five suspects have been killed, or suddenly four killed and one died of his injuries overnight in Cambrils. [03:15:06] How do you see, if it all, the connections here?

NEUMANN: Well, as I said before Barcelona, Catalonia has been perhaps one of the most significant places in Europe for Jihadist networks and has been so for over 10 years. And wherever you have those scenes those many years you do have connections between people and you do have associations people know each other. People are friends with each other, they go to the same radical breaches.

I think, but will have to work out is exactly what kind of connections. What kind of communication existed between the different attacks and the different people involved in these attacks, and that's what police does after every attack, they go for association and they go for communication and they will be very busy right now trying to establish that these people communicate with each other. Did they associate with each other?

ANDERSON: Thank you, Peter for your view as you join us here in Barcelona this morning in Ares, Spain where it is clearly a very fluid situation with an ongoing investigation across a myriad of parts. It had to be said in Barcelona on the outskirts of Barcelona, and to the north of Barcelona and in two sides it seems to the south about 120 miles or so, or about 120 miles to the south.

A huge ongoing operation in Spain for Spanish authorities. But the scene here in the middle of Barcelona, one that is at least getting back to normal despite the fact that just yesterday at 5 o'clock in the afternoon and it's morning time here now. At 5 o'clock in the afternoon a van rammed into pedestrians on Las Ramblas.

Thirteen 13 people losing their lives. More than 100 injured. We believe that those victims of this brutal attack are from up with the 24 countries. The names and their nationality are beginning to come through at this point. Still more to come more on this deadly terror attack here in Barcelona and around the region.

And the latest reason why the members of President Trump's political party is speaking out against him. And now Mr. Trump is reacting to it.

Stay with us.


[00:04:57] ANDERSON: Well, Spanish police say they killed five suspected terrorist in the coastal town of Cambrils. The suspects were in the car you see being towed away here which was left flipped over in the street overnight. Officers engage them in a shootout killing four of the suspect. The fifth suspect was said taken into custody but died from his injury.

Well, further up the coast here in Barcelona police have made a third arrest in connection with the early attack on Thursday afternoon in Barcelona left 13 people dead, more than 100 others were wounded when a van rammed into a busy tourist street. Witnesses reported bodies flying into the air and a tidal wave of

fleeing civilians. It's not clear if the new arrest the Paul Farrell's eye was the driver who has been on the run. He abandoned his vehicle and fled.

And even earlier another incident down the coast in Alcanar a huge explosion leveled the house there killing one person. Person have link that to the van attack here in Barcelona. And they are working under the idea that Cambrils is also a connected.

A lot of fast moving pieces here. Well, the world sending messages of love and solidarity to Spain in the wake of fear and this chaos. The German chancellor called the violence revolting. A spokesman for Angela Merkel wrote, "We are mourning the victims of this disgusting attack in Barcelona, in solidarity and friendship side by side with the Spanish.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan echoing that sentiment. He called it a barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona. The Australian foreign minister offering her condenses as well. Have a listen.


JULIE BISHOP, AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The Australian government condemns this brutal and deliberate act clearly designed to harm through to some holidays in Spain. The Australian government extends its deepest sorrow to the victims to their families to the people of Barcelona, and we stand with the government of Spain.


ANDERSON: And we do know amongst those victims here in Barcelona there are Australians. Well, France use the Eiffel Tower to make a grand gesture going dark in mourning for the victims. And city hall in Tel Aviv and in Israel was lit up in the colors of the Spanish flag alternating with the Israeli flag in a show of partnership.

Barcelona's most famous athlete sending out a message of resilience, and his condolence. Star striker Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona posted this photo on Instagram. He pledges all my support for their families and friends of the victims of the terrible attack in our beloved Barcelona, and totally condemned any act of violence.

We will not surrender. He said there are much more of us who want to live in a peaceful world without hatred and where respect and tolerance for basis of co-existence.

And before I leave you for a short while, I just want to show you some of the newspapers here. This morning, La Vanguardia terror in Barcelona, a simple headline and some graphic pictures of the scenes seen on Las Ramblas. The mere kilometer pedestrian zone where horror visited pedestrian, tourists, visitors alike yesterday.

And another El Periodico horror on Las Ramblas. Similar picture tells it all really we're here in Barcelona. This is a city on move again. It will not be cowed, but clearly with what is a very fluid situation. People very fearful about what has happened and what could happen next.

For the time being though, I want to hand you back to my colleague, George in Atlanta. George.

HOWELL: Becky just looking at those images that you showed the news articles juxtaposed with what we see behind you. That beautiful that mellow city that so many around the world. Though, Barcelona Las Ramblas where so many tourist come together to think about the people who taken by surprise who had no idea of the terror that was inflicted on that city.

Thank you for the reporting, Becky. We'll of course touch back with you. On the side of the world the U.S. president has reacted to the tragedy in Barcelona, first by sending out a conventional statement, offering support then following up on Twitter with a widely debunked rumor.

First he tweeted this, "The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help be tough and strong. We love you." The president says, then this quote, "Citing what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists would caught there was no more radical Islamic terror for 35 years."

[03:25:02] Here is the thing. There is absolutely no evidence backing up the president's claimed that in the early 1900s General John Pershing and his forces shot Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs blood to deter from during the Philippine American war.

So in the face of Barcelona's horrific terror attack some are questioning why the president is highlighting a story that was discredited after he told it on the campaign trail last year. So, the president's tweets and his reaction to the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia here in the United States, causing some members of his own party to speak out against him.

Here's what Tim Scott recently had to say about it. Tim, the only African-American serving as a republican senator. Listen.


TIM SCOTT, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I'm not going to defend the indefensible. What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority, and moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happened.


HOWELL: Another Republican Senator Bob Corker took it a step further, saying he questions the president's competence.

Jim Acosta reports the attacks from Mr. Trump's party are fueling a reaction from the president himself.


JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: For the second straight day, President Trump shied away from the cameras following his divisive comments on the violence in Charlottesville. But on Twitter the president is still in cleanup mode, blasting republicans who criticize him, and falsely claiming he did not put wiser premises on the same level as the people protesting them.

Tweeting, "Publicity seeking, Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists." He also attacked Arizona Senator Jeff Flake cheering on his upcoming primary opponent, tweeting, "Great to see that Dr. Kelly Ward is running against Flake, Jeff Flake who was weak on border, crime, and non-factor in Senate. He is toxic."

Graham hit back in a statement. "Because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise and some of the most racist and hateful individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our nation as our president, please fix this."

GOP Senator Bob Corker lashed out of the presidents reporters in Tennessee saying.

BOB CORKER, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: The president has not yet -- has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.

ACOSTA: The president is also showing more sympathy for the Confederate statues coming down around the country doubling down on his comments earlier this week. George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same, Mr. President.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: George Washington was a slave owner.

ACOSTA: But, sir...


TRUMP: Is George Washington a slave owner?

ACOSTA: Yes, he was in the 1700's.

TRUMP: So George Washington now with those status you're changing history, you're changing culture.

ACOSTA: The president tweeted "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, who's next? Washington, Jefferson? So foolish." Democrats aren't buying it.

DENNIS HECK, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: President Trump has made a living off of changing the subject. You know, he wants this now to be about statues and monuments, OK. And the last time I checked the Republican Party was frankly in favor of local control.

ACOSTA: Joining the debate, the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon slammed wiser premises to the progressive American Prospect saying, "Ethno nationalism it's losers, it's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much. And we got help crush it, you know, help crush it more."

At first Bannon claimed he didn't know he was being interviewed.

ROBERT KUTTNER, CO-FOUNDER & CO-EDITOR, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT MAGAZINE: He called me and weirdly, he never said that we were off the record.

ACOSTA: But sources close to Bannon say he really intended the remarks to divert attention from the president's comments on Charlottesville. One source told CNN Bannon knew full well this would distract from criticism.


ACOSTA: The White House declined to comment on Bannon's remarks but a White House spokesperson did weigh in on the future of the president's top economic advisor Gary Cohen who was with Mr. Trump at that wild news conference Tuesday.

Sources said Cohen was upset by the president's comments but the White House said Cohen is not going anywhere.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Bridgewater, New Jersey.

HOWELL: Jim Acosta asking all the right questions. Jim, thank you for the report.

Still ahead here on CNN, we continue following the breaking news this day. The latest in Barcelona on Thursday's terror attack and why Spain's prime minister says the country can defeat terrorism. That story ahead.

Plus, this isn't the first terror attack targeting crowds of people. We'll hear why attacks like these are growing all more common.

Stay with us.


[03:30:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to Barcelona where we are following breaking news in the aftermath of deadly terror attacks here.

Police now say, five armed terrorist suspects are dead after an incident in the city of Cambrils to the south of Barcelona. A government official says a car seen here upside down, knock down several people including police officers Thursday night.

The shootout and issued, authorities believe it may have been a terror attack and it could be tied to the Barcelona attack on Thursday afternoon.

That is where 13 people were killed, when a van drove through a crowded street just 500 yards behind me now and three suspects are in custody. Here is what Spain's prime minister said earlier about the Barcelona attack.


MARIANO RAJOY, PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (through a translator): Of course, we are united in our grief. We are above all united in our desire to end this madness and barbarity.

We have waged many wars against terrorism in the long course of history and we have always won them. On this occasion too, the Spanish will defeat them.


ANDERSON: Late afternoon -- late afternoon Thursday, horror visited a city of Barcelona. For more on what happened, here is my colleague Michael Holmes and a warning, this report contains graphic video.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carnage on the streets of Barcelona after a van careens through the crowd, smashing bodies and dragging them through the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): There has been a terror attack in the middle of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. There's tons of people dead in Las Ramblas. This is really strong among children and a mother is dead in the middle of Las Ramblas.

HOLMES: Moments later, victims strewn among shattered market stalls, the bloody aftermath captured by social media video. Rescue workers trying to revive those barely moving. Eyewitnesses say the attack a zigzag aiming to hit as many people as possible.

Nearby chaos broke out. Terrified people ran into shops, restaurants, anywhere they could for cover. Many stayed holdup for hours waiting for more information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through a translator): There has been incomplete confusion. The police ordered us to close the restaurant.

All I care is that have to be evacuated because people are panicking. The panic, you can't react. You don't know how to react.

[03:35:00] HOLMES: Ambulances carry dozens of wounded to hospital. Heavily armed police marched through the popular tourist destination clearing streets and setting up barricades.

The incident quickly declared a terror attack by authorities. ISIS says media wing a mock, claiming responsibility, the terror group offering no proof of their involvement. CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT, GENERALITAT OF CATALONIA: This is a

very serious attack and we condemn it energetically. Democracy and intrinsic values have always been against terrorism wherever in the world.

All institutions and all citizens must have no doubts that the intention of these criminals is to confront civilization with violence.

HOLMES: A call for calm as Catalonia police hunt for the perpetrators. Michael Holmes, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: And this just in, Catalonia authorities have just said they still don't know who was driving that van. The van driver as we know abandoned the vehicle after careening into so many people fled the scene and is on the run.

Well, earlier I spoke to CNN law enforcement contributor and a former FBI special agent Steve Moore. Seems why attacks like these, targeting people in public keep happening.


STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: It reminds me of -- of where we were in the 1970s when we couldn't figure out how to deal with hijacking.

And we would -- we would ask ourselves, what are we going to have to do. Search everybody before we get on a plane? Well, yes, 40 years later, that is what we are doing. And so what were going to see is we are going to lose open avenues.

We are going to lose these are piazzas where people can walk around and -- and mingle like this. They are all going to have to be secured until we can find another way to stop vehicle attacks.

ANDERSON: So this is -- this is what occurred here? Let's also just consider what has happened over the past 24 hours because it's not just the terror attack that happened here in Barcelona.

It is what is going on, what happens down the road for me is some 70 off miles in Cambrils. How do the emergency services cope with this sort of onslaught in such a small period of time and shoe they have seen the warning signs?

MOORE: Well we always say that they should have seen the warning signs, but we don't know how many things that they have interdicted while this happened.

They have to -- it is like a triage. They have to go after the things that seem most extreme and there are things that are out there on the radar that are scary.

The way they cope is that they practice for these things and they have practiced and practiced, and they were ready, and their response shows that they were ready.

The investigation though should indicate to the people who are watching the way these terrorist cells work. You have them all over within about 100 km, 200 km of Barcelona. You have an apparent bomb factory.

You have another group of people up in Cambrils who are possibly going to be the people deploying these devices and you have the driver in Barcelona.

I think the one thing that we can be grateful for is this something -- something interdicted their perfect plan and they had to go off disorganized, and I want to give the police some credit if indeed these people in Cambrils were involved. They have done some fabulous work on the fly.

ANDERSON: I hate to ask this question and we've asked it before but I will ask it again. Is this the new norm?

MOORE: Yes -- yes. It is for the foreseeable future because what we found out again back in the 70's is terrorists were going to use airplanes until they were stopped and then they would go to something else.

And right now, they have found something that we can't stop at least in the short term, and you can steal a car, you can rent a car, you can find them anywhere but until we learn to stop them, they are going to keep doing what they are doing because it is working.


ANDERSON: Behind me here at 12 midday, which is about two hours and 20 minutes from now. There will be a moments of silence for the victims this attack -- these attacks.

The king of Spain will join mourn and stay here, three days of mourning is being pulled by the prime minister and the king of Spain.

[03:40:00] I will be here in the Plaza Catalonia, which is at the top of Las Ramblas. We know it was from this area that the van that create poor such chaos, mayhem, death and destruction yesterday started, they plotted its terror of course.

Well still ahead, the latest on this on going terror investigation in Spain and an eyewitness account of the carnage along what is popular Barcelona Street.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. Following the breaking news, the very latest this hour, police have made a third arrest in a string of terror incidents in Spain.


HOWELL: Police say they killed five suspected armed terrorists in the coastal town of Cambrils. The shootout took place after a car knocked down several people there.

A bomb squad conducted controlled explosions at the scene but could not confirm that the suspects were wearing explosive belts. Cambrils is a short distance down the coast from Barcelona.

That is where at hours earlier, 13 people were killed and more than 100 others injured after a speeding van ran people down on a crowded street, a popular area with tourist Las Ramblas. Police say they are treating the Barcelona case and Cambrils as related.

In other news were following this day, the top U.S. general is in Japan in the wake of the latest North Korean missile threats. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford has already met with his Japanese counterpart.

He is also set to meet with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Dunford has been trying to reassure you U.S. allies on his Asia trip. He told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that military drills with South Korea will began as planned on Monday. North Korea says it views those as a practice war and invasion.


HOWELL: It is a race against time in Sierra Leone. Officials there warning of a new mudslide thread near the capital city of that nation, the warning coming only days after a mudslide in that area killed at least 331 people. Our Farai Sevenzo has this report for us.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the cold light of day, the scale of three times mudslide is all too apparent. When earth gave weight to torrential rain earlier in the week, it flow downhill, dislodging big rocks, destroying homes and ending hundreds of lives.

Rescue workers is now on a recovery mission, rush to remove bodies because of the dangerous disease. Sierra must now recover from a disaster and is what does entire families.

The dead have been later rest in a massive burial and the collects of grief of the living is capable. Nearly 2000 people have been (Inaudible) homes and then now be sheltered in place like this, a school.

[03:45:00] But the rains have not stopped. More than 20 inches fell on Freetown on Monday morning. Officials say they have seen a crack in another of Freetown's hills.

SIDI YAHYA TUNIS, HONOURABLE, CULTURAL AFFAIRS: We Democrat now more worrisome for us. Some looking at clone images, we realize that we didn't have bigger portion now about 20 -- 129 hectares like to collapse. And we don't know how much coverage that we have.

SEVENZO: Monday's landslide of the bottom of Sugar Loaf Hill 4.7 acres in size. Should this new crack it way to the rains. More than 70 acres would collapse and impact the far launch area, more homes, more people and more death.

Official say they are in a race against time and are scrambling to evacuate large sums of the city, will (Inaudible) resources high need, the agony may not be over. Farai Sevenzo, CNN.


HOWELL: Farai Sevenzo, thanks for the report. Still ahead, much more on the terror right to attack targeting Barcelona and the coast of Spain. We'll hear some of the shocking details from witnesses as they watch these tragic events unfold right before their eyes. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Spanish authorities working to unravel what is a complex web of terror. Three events in three coastal towns over the course of 24 hours, Alcanar, Barcelona and Cambrils. Police in Barcelona have made a third arrest in connection with that the attack here.

Authorities had two suspects in custody for some time but were looking for the driver, it is not clear if this arrests -- this latest arrest is a man who was behind the wheel. Official also note the death toll is likely to rise with more than 100 people wounded.

Well, later in Cambrils, switch is about 70 off miles from Barcelona to Southwest. Police say they killed four terrorists in a shoot out.

Now police performed controlled explosions as a precautionary measure but did not say if the suspects were wearing explosive belts.

One officer was wounded in the shootout as well as six civilians. A fifth suspect was arrested but later died of his injuries.

Police operating under the assumption that these two incidents at least are connect as well as -- are connected as well as the third, an explosion in the coastal town of Alcanar which is looking further to the Southwest than Cambrils.

That was Wednesday and that destroyed a home and killed one person. Now ISIS hasn't explicitly claimed responsibility for any of these incidents.

But the terror group said the attack in Barcelona were quote, its soldiers. Well, earlier I spoke to retired FBI Special Agent Bobby Chacon. I asked him how he thought emergency services, the authorities, the police did when responding to this attack.


BOBBY CHACON, RETIRED SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: I mean this is an area where it is heavily traveled with tourists and locals alike.

It's a difficult area to have complete tight control over, this -- from the early outset, this look like a planned attack to me, a coordinated attack. This wasn't a suicide mission. So these guys got out and tried to flee.

[03:50:00] One did actually get away and your -- the witness had mentioned a market that he was in -- well, that market -- there's a big entrance on Las Ramblas.

But those -- that particular market has exit out the back that probably locals know about, and it leads into a predominantly a Muslim neighborhood right behind that he described.

So that is probably in my mind where the driver got away through, so he might have run right by that witness. I am so -- I think that it looks like a upland coordinated multi-attack scenario.

I think that the explosion at the apartment last night or the night before may have set things in motion because was maybe there -- the plan to use explosives was then negated by that explosion and so they had to carry out the plan anywhere they could.

And so you saw him use the van as the weapon of choice because they no longer had explosives. Now the attack of the nightclub will have to see how they are trying that to it. We do not know yet.

There's not a lot of evidence coming out yet with statements from the police other than that there were five terrorists. No civilians killed in that -- in that incident.

So that kind of a makes me think that maybe those were people that they are nigh on and they intercept of them before they were going to do with the plan to do.

And maybe that is information that they claim earlier in the day from part of that other investigation. That's what speculation on my part, but that is where my mind goes when I see this kind of sequence of events.

ANDERSON: Let's go through just a number of the -- the sort of that we know and what we don't know at this point because as we have been going through the night as be long known at a lot of known, and not least what happened in Cambrils 75 miles to the southwest of Barcelona.

Let us start though with what happened here and the van driver who abandoned this vehicle, he fled and he is still on the run. What will emergency services be doing at this point?

CHACON: Well, they have got two people in custody that are probably questioning. They've got information from the apartments and from the vans.

They've -- hopefully will have gained some forensics from the vans and from the apartments and the interrogations of the two custody.

So I think there is a lot that they are doing, a lot that they have on this guy and they will release his name and his identity when it is advantageous to the investigation. If they do not have it now, I would believe that they probably have it and for some reason, it -- it benefits the investigation not to release it yet. So I think that -- I think they probably have guy identified.

I think that they're probably looking for him at all the logical places. It wouldn't surprise me if it today in Barcelona, we have some more very breaking news on this story.

ANDERSON: Let's be clear, that since July or last year, on a beach in Nice, where lorry mowed into people enjoying what was the fourth of -- 14th of July celebration.

This is sadly the night such attack in Europe over the past year using what as you've described a van -- a small van as the weapon of choice by ISIS or ISIS inspired terror.

What can people do is, people back on the streets of this city today and it is on the move again. It has to be set, what would you advise to people be?

CHACON: Well, you know, if we change our way of life to a great extent, the terrorist win. I would actually start by addressing the municipalities and the authorities in some of these areas where you have large public gatherings or you set up your streets in such a way that it is going to attract crowds and tourists.

I would advise and I would encourage them to make it much more difficult to hearten those -- those potential targets and make it much more difficult to drive vehicles down there. It may be time to start shutting off some of these streets to vehicle traffic.

It may be time to put barricades temporally in place. Maybe on nights when you want more tourists than other nights, and so it may be temporary closings, it may call for more permanent closing in some of these places.

I think each city has to address its own situation and its own locations, but I think it is time to start pardoning some of these targets and protecting them from this type of attack because like you said, at the knees, ISIS did come out in some of the propaganda and actually encourage this very type of attack.

It said to go and use vehicles. So I think that these municipalities have to respond to that and the government job to protect his people is going to include looking at some of these locations and putting up temporary barriers in place at certain times, or maybe permanently closing some of these streets off to vehicle traffic.


[03:55:00] ANDERSON: You're watching special coverage of the terror acts in Spain. I'm Becky Anderson, we will have a lot more for you after, we'll have a very short break. This is CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just about to go into the Las Ramblas, which obviously is most -- one of the most popular tourist streets in Barcelona and I came to a crosswalk.

And the light turned red just as I was about to cross, and -- and so I'd stopped and all of a sudden a whit van sort of speeding out of nowhere.

And took a drastic right turn right onto the walking part of the right on the streets and right into the people that were standing on the side of the opposite side of the cross, and he just toss them down with a van, continued to drive down road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard a very loud kind of like -- it sounded like, you know the guy that was driving -- whoever was driving the van cannot afford it and I see the white van, it looks like a utility truck or something.

White van with some blue writing on the side and it literally came straight down around blocks, and ran into people you know on -- on every side. And Las Ramblas is full of, you know, pedestrians, street merchants, street performers and I saw people flying into the air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden there this tidal wave as people running towards us and they were hysterically walking and just a small number with a large number of people and children was screening.

There were clearly a lot of distress in Spain. English is not widely spoken. It's -- and it was very difficult to work out except you could see the fear and the distress on these people.

And the fact that they were screaming in terror. You know, regardless of what might have happen, we knew we had to get ourselves out of there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was kind of like a little chain of event where I just saw a few people turn around and start yelling and screaming and then almost instantly, everyone around them was yelling, screaming, and headed in the opposite direction.

And in that moment, me and my cousin just turned around and started running back the way that we had initially come from.

And all you could hear was just people -- just kind of extremely, it's just so much chaos and everyone just screaming and yelling, trying to find they're other family members just because the area itself, and that market is just so extremely packed. Everyone was trying to run to safety.


HOWELL: Welcome to our viewers around the world. We continue following the breaking news this hour here on CNN. The terror --