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St. Louis Protests. Aired 12:30-1a ET

Aired September 16, 2017 - 01:30   ET


UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers across the U.S. I'm Natalie Allen and we'll continue to monitor the situation in St. Louis and bring you any developments as we get them.

These are live pictures from the scene in St. Louis, Missouri where the streets have quieted down after people took to the streets to protest a police officer not being convicted for shooting a black man in a case from several years ago. These pictures compliments of KTVI St. Louis, Missouri and we will let you know if there's anything else that we need to report on there.

First, I want to take you to the U.K.'s terror threat level which is up to critical after an explosion on board an underground train in London early Friday morning, that burning bag you see right there inside detonated, wounding 29 people but no one seriously. A manhunt is underway for whoever is responsible and Prime Minister Theresa May is warning the public to stay alert.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Joint Terrorism Analysis Center, that's the independent organization which is responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of available intelligence has now decided to raise the national threat level from severe to critical. This means that their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.


ALLEN: Our Brian Todd is following the investigation, here he is.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Flames emanate from a crudely built bomb placed by the doorway inside a train in London's underground. Official say this IED sent more than two dozen people to the hospital with wounds like flash burns and singed hair. Witnesses say it also caused a stampede of panicked commuters desperate to get out of the Parsons Green Tube Station in Southwest London.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People just got chottened, it was every man for themselves. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This wall of fire was just coming towards us.

TODD: The suspect or suspects still at large.

MAY: Further attack may be imminent.

TODD: The full resources of Scotland Yard and British Counter Terror Forces engaged in an intense manhunt.

MARK ROWLEY, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: There were many urgent inquiries ongoing with hundreds of detectives involved, looking at CCTV, forensic work, and speaking to witnesses.

ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSITANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHAL'S SERVICE: The bomb itself did not go off which for law enforcement is a great thing because the bomb in it of itself is sort of a fingerprint of the individual who made it.

TODD: A British security source tells CNN a timer was found on the device, that it's clear that although this was a crude bomb, it was intended to cause much greater damage.

ROWLEY: We're only aware of one device, so we now have the remnants of that device, it's been examined by our experts.

TODD: One source briefed on the investigation says an initial assessment of the bomb indicates it's highly likely to have contained TATP, an unstable explosive that packs a nasty punch. This video shows TATP combusting just from a tiny film canister.

BRIAN CASTNER, FORMER AIR FORCE BOMB DISPOSAL TECHNICIAN: TATP is one of the most sensitive explosives know to the bomb tech community and it really takes very little initiation to set it off.

TODD: Now the fact that a timer was used and the suspect is still at large has Londoners bracing for the worst.

RODERICK: The timer is really what's freaking people out and did this individual place bombs at other locations? I mean they are obviously sweeping all the train stations in London, all the tube stations right now at this particular time. They're looking for other devices.

TODD: This marks the fifth significant attack this year in Britain after the attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge, the mosque at Finsbury Park, and Manchester Arena.

Experts say these attacks in Britain along with the recent attack in Barcelona mean terrorists are going to keep coming at these European cities, that they remain a very high value target for jihadist, second only possibly to cities here in the United States. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Joining me now is CNN Law Enforcement Contributor, Steve Moore who is a former FBI Special Agent. Steve, thanks for talking with us. STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: What does it mean that the threat level in London has gone from severe to critical?

MOORE: Natalie, what that means is that they know a lot more than they're letting on. You don't do that if you just see a bomb that went off low order or an IED that went off low order unless you know the source of that.

And what that tells me is they know or they at least have a suspect and likely know that there is more explosive material out there that hasn't been used, or there could be people who are unaccounted for.

ALLEN: I see. And so as for the device, analysts say it appears to be crudely made, it did have a timer, it may have contained explosive TATP, what does that say? How does that give them information?

MOORE: It gives them a wealth of information. First of all, TATP is very hard to make without killing yourself. And it is very hard to get to go off when you want it to.

And what it says is this was an amateur, this is not somebody who trained in the camps of Afghanistan. And there's a thing -- when something goes off high order, that's called a detonation. When it goes off low order, that's called the deflagration, it basically just burned very rapidly. So they know that this person isn't very adept but it doesn't mean they won't get it right the second time.

ALLEN: Right. And ISIS is claiming responsibility, does this look like the mark of ISIS or is there any way to know that?

MOORE: TATP is certainly the go-to explosive for ISIS right now, because you can make it at home with peroxide and acetone where you can -- which you can get in stores.

But they're going to claim it no matter what. And I don't believe it was anything more than an ISIS-inspired attack if that. It was somebody who was not in contact with them, who took this upon themselves to do it for whatever reason he felt he needed to contribute to jihad.

ALLEN: And as far as trying to thwart these type attacks, Steve, London has been hit over and over again and now it's the subway, the tube, the oldest subway in the world. It's very, very difficult to thwart something like this, just as somebody behind the wheel of a car that runs people over.

MOORE: You're absolutely right. And in a way the crudeness of the devices which are forced upon the terrorists actually makes it harder for law enforcement, because you can't use a cellphone to detonate. You can't radio detonate an explosive device in the tube. So you have to use a timer or something like that. While that complicates it for the terrorists, it makes it infinitely harder to detect. You can't jam cellphone signals. But, again, it makes it much more critical and it makes it harder for the terrorist to determine where the explosive is going to go off unless they're standing there pushing a button.

ALLEN: And now we know that there will be more police officers on the streets, what does that do? I mean there -- they know terrorists could strike any time anywhere. So you would think the presence is there before an attack, right?

MOORE: Yes. The -- but there -- keep in mind that what they're doing right now is they have reason to believe, for reasons they're not sharing with us that another attack could be imminent.

So this is potentially before the second attack and people in these situations are frequently risk averse, and what you're going to do is not necessarily prevent the attack, but you're going to channel it away from areas where the police are. And if the police are in areas where there are high concentrations of people, at least what you're doing is limiting the number of casualties potentially.

ALLEN: Steve Moore, we always appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump called British Prime Minister Theresa May after the London attack, Downing Street says he offered condolences but he's also drawn rebukes from British officials for his response on Twitter. For more, here's our Athena Jones.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to say that our hearts and prayers go out to the people of London who suffered a vicious terrorist attack.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump responding to Friday's terror attack on London's subway system.

TRUMP: Radical Islamic terrorism, it will be eradicated, believe me.

JONES: Those comments coming after a flurry of early morning tweets about the incident.

TEXT: Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.

Trump wrote. Adding:

TEXT: These are sick and demented people who are in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive.

The president's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, later trying to explain what Trump meant by "In the sights of Scotland Yard," the London Police Department headquarters.

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think what the president was communicating is that obviously all of our law enforcement efforts are focused on this terrorist threat from -- for years. He didn't mean anything beyond that. JONES: The president's tweets prompted strong pushback from London police who said they didn't yet know who was involved. And similar criticism from British Prime Minister Theresa May.

MAY: I never think it's helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.

JONES: The president seizing on the incident to push his proposed travel ban, targeting nearly all refugees as well as people from six Muslim majority countries, a ban that is facing several legal challenges. Trump tweeting:

TEXT: The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher, and more specific but stupidly, that would not be politically correct.

Asked to explain his tweet, he would only say:

TRUMP: We have to be tough and we have to be smarter.

JONES: The latest terror attack on an ally coming in the wake of yet another missile launch by North Korea, the second one to fly over another key ally, Japan, in less than a month, a problem international diplomatic pressure has so far been unable to solve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you running out of diplomatic options Mr. President?


JONES: Amid the escalating threat from North Korea, the president visited Joint Base Andrews outside Washington Friday where he talked up the country's military might.

TRUMP: When our enemies hear the F-35 engines, when they're roaring overhead, their souls will tremble and they will know the day of reckoning has arrived.


ALLEN: White House Correspondent, Athena Jones reporting for us there. And still ahead, North Korea's Kim Jong-un is sounding as defiant as ever toward the international community.

He said Friday's missile launch was flawlessly perfect and he indicated there will be many more. We'll go live to Seoul, South Korea for the latest.


ALLEN: We're now on one of our top stories, North Korea has now released photos that it says show leader Kim Jong-un overseeing Friday's launch of an intermediate range missile. It was North Korea's 22nd missile launch of the year and the second to fly over Japan in less than a month. According to state media, Kim praised the launch as flawlessly perfect and called it a meaningful and practical step toward nuclear deployment.

CNN's Ian Lee joins us now from Seoul, South Korea with more. Do these pictures indicate anything about this missile technology, Ian?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that's why analysts are scouring over to see if they can glean any information off these pictures and off the information that they detected.

But this is a continuation of this missile program that we've seen from North Korea. This is the first missile that has been tested since North Korea made that announcement that they could put a hydrogen bomb on top of an ICBM. Also since that test of a 160 kiloton hydrogen bomb that they tested just the past few weeks. So this is very significant. This missile also traveled 3,700 kilometers which is also roughly in the range of Guam. So this could also be North Korea sending a message to the United States.

ALLEN: Ian Lee for us. Thank you Ian. And still to come here, much more on the protests happening right now in St. Louis, Missouri. People outed force against a judge's not guilty verdict for the former officer who shot and killed a young black man. More about it right after this.


ALLEN: Welcome back. We are following the growing anger in St. Louis, Missouri after a judge acquitted a former police officer of murder in the 2011 shooting death of an African-American man.

This is a live look as protesters rally against what they call police brutality. Former officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty for the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. A short time ago, demonstrators were hit by tear gas. So far, police have arrested just 13 people.

Four officers have been injured, at least two hurt by a thrown brick. Critics are comparing the judge's decision to the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police. The former police officer claimed he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors accused Stockley of planting a gun to justify the shooting.

The once beautiful islands in the Caribbean are struggling to recover after Hurricane Irma, the ferocious storm struck the area last week, killing at least 44 people. Almost all of the buildings on the island of Barbuda were destroyed. Many survivors are still lacking food, power, and fuel and we're told that the first time in 300 years, there's nobody now living on this island.

In the U.S., Florida, of course, felt the brunt of the storm, about one and a half million customers still do not have power in Florida. And residents who evacuated the Cays are starting to trickle back in but the governor cautions against returning before it is safe.

On the Island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, two teenage brothers who survived the hurricane are now left with almost nothing, but their story has a happy ending courtesy of country music Star, Kenny Chesney. Our Sara Sidner has that.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A heart-felt goodbye to the complete stranger who took the Bruce brothers in after the storm. The teenagers were on St. John when Hurricane Irma blasted the island and decimated the home they grew up in while they were inside.

JAH-HALIE BRUCE, ST. JOHN RESIDENT: We were in the shower laying down against a concrete wall and five minutes later the roof gets ripped off our head.

JAHBIOSEH BRUCE, ST. JOHN RESIDENT: That's the moment where I was terrified because I felt like Irma was a spirit, because like I felt like I saw the hand grab the roof, squeeze it, and throw it off into the wind.

BRUCE: Rip it off.

BRUCE: It was just -- it was crazy.

SIDNER: They survived alongside their grandfather, but the winds tore nearly everything else apart on the island.

BRUCE: I feel like the best way to put the image in your head is like picture a car on the highway going 185 miles and you know you put your hand out the window sometimes, it's whew, whew, you feel the wind. Picture your face outside, picture your body outside and you feel you're going at that speed, that's what it felt like.

SIDNER: When it was all over, they were left with nothing. Their childhood home gone, along with almost everything in it.

BRUCE: There's basically nothing to go back to on St. John's.

SIDNER: The brothers were picked up by a private boat like this one to St. Croix, taking in supplies and picking up evacuees. That's where they met Sue, her sons own the boat. She took one look at the boys and said, "You are staying with me, not in a shelter."

What are your lives going to look like now since the house is gone?

BRUCE: Well we're trying to make it to Philadelphia to our mother right now.

SIDNER: But there were no commercial flights out of the island. Then, an unexpected gift arrived.

BRUCE: I don't even know what to say, but thank you. There's really nothing to say. I heard that the guy wanted to stay anonymous, thank you very much.

SIDNER: The brothers were told an anonymous donor had donated his private jet to fly them to safety. We found out who that anonymous donor was, it's country star Kenny Chesney.

BRUCE: I kept saying, one day this is going to be one hell of a story to tell. It's going to be one good story to tell.

BRUCE: And now we're on CNN telling the story, it's crazy.

SIDNER: Soon, they'll be telling their story in person to their mother who is anxiously awaiting their arrival back in Philadelphia. Sara Sidner, CNN St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.


ALLEN: We need more endings like that one from this terrible hurricane. Well, when tragedy struck on the Island of St. Thomas, one woman who lost her home to Irma redoubled her efforts to help others in need.

Jenny Hawks and other volunteers have been serving free meals at a cafe and plan to continue feeding up to 1,000 people a day for as long as the need exist. She says she's able to continue giving in the face of personal loss because of her love for the island and its people.

If you would like to help the people of the Caribbean, check out the charities on our website at

Nearly 20 years after its launch, NASA has bid a fond farewell to its Cassini spacecraft. Since 2004, Cassini has been studying the mysterious ringed planet Saturn and Saturn's moons. It sent back spectacular pictures and data. But now running low on fuel, the spacecraft transmitted its final signal and NASA sent Cassini into a depth dive into Saturn's atmosphere. Farewell Cassini and thank you.

And thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. Anderson Cooper is up next here on CNN.