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8 Dead, At Least 11 Hurt in NYC Terror Attack; Big Tech Defends Their Role in Election; World Series Going to Game 7; Wall Street's Strong October. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 1, 2017 - 04:30   ET



MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Important additional measures are being taken for people's safety. But the bottom line is, we are going to go about our business in the city. We're not going to be deterred.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Defiance from leaders and citizens of New York City, in the hours after a terror attack near the World Trade Center.

[04:30:03] Now, the attacker claims he did it for ISIS.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alex Marquardt.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It's 30 minutes past the hour this morning.

Tightened security right now in New York City as victims and their families face the aftermath of a deadly truck attack in lower Manhattan. Officials are calling this terrorism. And we have learned the suspect left a note, claiming he did it in the name of ISIS.

MARQUARDT: This deadly attack killed eight and injured a dozen others. Sources identified the suspect as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. And at this point, investigators believe that he did act alone.

ROMANS: He launched this attack in broad daylight, on a crowded bike path along the Hudson River, mowing down pedestrians for 16 blocks. This was the deadliest terror attack in New York City since 9/11 and it's ended in the shadow of the World Trade Center where he was shot by police. Police managed to talk to him before he was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery.

Let's go to Lower Manhattan now. Our Jean Casarez is there live with more on the suspect and on the victims -- Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know the note was found outside of the truck that he was driving, pledging allegiance to ISIS, doing this in the name of ISIS. Witnesses say, once he got out of the truck, he yelled "Allahu Akbar". And so, witnesses heard that. We have associated Sayfullo Saipov, which is the suspect in this case, 29 years old, with three different states. He had identification in regard to Florida.

We also know that in 2013, he lived in Ohio and he married a woman in Ohio, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She was at that time 19. He was 25 at the time. Her name was Nozima Odilova, also a Uzbekistan national.

We do know he came to the United States in 2010 and most recently, it is believed lived in New Jersey, in the Paterson area. Yesterday, a short time before the attack, he rented a Home Depot, flatbed truck in New York City, drove here to the city and at 3:05 p.m. began to drive southbound on the west highway here in New York City, plowing down bicyclists, pedestrians.

We do know that eight people died, six instantly. We know five of them were citizens of Argentina. They were here for a 30th high school reunion. One, a Belgian national. We do not know the identity of the other victims that perished in this. But 11 were injured, taken to local hospitals.

We also know that when he exited the truck, after crashing into a school bus, injuring two adults and two students, he brandished two weapons. A police officer shot him in the abdomen. He did survive, as you said, went into emergency surgery last night at the hospital. Law enforcement, we believe, spoke with him before the surgery. And as for those weapons, they turned out to be a paint ball gun and pellet gun, not known, obviously, at that time.

Law enforcement believes, Christine and Alex, at this point that he acted alone and he was not on their radar.

ROMANS: With two fake weapons, pellet gun and paint ball gun, a rented pickup truck to do so, so much damage. Clearly, we'll learn so much more before they interrogate him further.

Jean Casarez, we'll check in with you again in lower Manhattan in a few minutes -- thank you.

MARQUARDT: Now, this attack comes at a hectic time in New York. It happened just hours before last night's busy Halloween parade, while the city gears up for Sunday's big marathon and next week's mayoral election.

Governor Andrew Cuomo assuring New Yorkers there is no broader threat to be concerned about.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: There's no evidence that suggests a wider plot or wider scheme, but the actions of one individual who meant to cause pain and harm and probably death and the resulting terror. And that was the purpose.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: President Trump is, of course, from New York City. His wife, Melania was in New York City when it happened. The president tweeting his condolences and prayers to the victims, then adding this, I have just ordered homeland security to step up our already extreme vetting program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this.

It should be noted, this suspect is from Uzbekistan. It's a country not included in the president's travel ban. The president of Uzbekistan this morning says his country will use all forces and means necessary to help with the investigation.

[04:35:03] And we're told the suspect came here on what's called a diversity immigrant visa. It's literally a lottery. Sorry, I dropped my pen. It's a lottery so people from parts of the world don't have a lot of immigration in the United States.

MARQUARDT: We are learning the numbers. Some 50,000 are left in but it's less than 1 percent.

ROMANS: Yes, yes. About 15 million people try to get this visa. To get it is literally winning the lottery and he did.

Joining us now, CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow. He's a former Secret Service agent who served during the Obama administration.

Good morning.


ROMANS: They'll be able to interrogate the suspect, which sometimes doesn't happen in these events.

WACKROW: No, I mean, the advantage that law enforcement has right now is that the suspect is alive. You know, he has the ability to talk. They can question him now. See if this is part of a broader tax scheme, see who his associates were, put a motive behind this. Was he radicalized? Was it by social media or somebody here, locally that is starting to radicalize individuals?

Again, 14, 13 1/2 hours ago was the attack. The challenge right now is you have a foreign national who has lived in multiple locations in the United States. Right now, the Joint Terrorism Task Force along with the NYPD are throwing out a large net to build a profile, gather the facts around this individual to ascertain what was the motive of the attack? Is there other attacks that are imminent? What is the risk to the public?

All of this is, you know, a work in progress. Law enforcement is working tirelessly to get the answers.

MARQUARDT: We have seen evolution in style of attacks. November 2015 in Paris, that carried out terrorist attacks. That is difficult to carry out and seemed to evolve into this truck ramming style. We often make the differentiation between ISIS-inspired and ISIS- directed. Do we have a any sense in this case which it is? And at the end of the day, does it really matter?

WACKROW: Yes. I mean, to answer your action, inspired or directed, that's going to be part of the investigative process. Understanding, did someone order him to do this or was he radicalized by online social media? Was he radicalized by someone that he is an associate with? Was he disenfranchised with the American dream? I mean, he won the lottery, as you said, right? So, what happened? What was the pivot that caused this individual to cause this destruction in New York City?

As for the attack itself, there's a changing tactic of terror. You know, we are seeing less of the dynamic, well-coordinated attacks and start seeing the attack that takes the path of least resistance. You know, ISIS-inspired groups have been putting out training materials online for a long time discussing this exact attack. We start on the London Bridge attack earlier this year.

This follows that exact same model. It is a high-impact attack that takes advantage of the vulnerabilities of sort target. I mean, 16 blocks, this guy drove a truck in New York City and attacked individuals for 16 blocks before he was stopped because he couldn't go further. I mean, that is unbelievable.

You think about the high impact of that style of attack with very little planning, renting a truck. It's, you know, doing pre-attack surveillance on how to drive that truck. It's a changing tactic of terror.

The answer, though, is creating a culture of security awareness, that we can start seeing early warning signs, if possible, around pre- attack behavior. Changes in somebody's behavior that, you know, you need to notify law enforcement. If you think someone is going to cause harm to our community, you see something, you say something. Very simple.

ROMANS: You know, the president talked about extreme vetting. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up extreme vetting. He didn't come from a country, though, that is on that list. I mean, do we need to -- are there signal signs?

MARQUARDT: He was here seven years.

WACKROW: The extreme vetting is a long view, right? It's not going to stop the attack tomorrow. It's part of a broader, more comprehensive mitigation strategy that the administration is trying to put forward. It's just one part.

But it comes down to the community, the localities, how the public and law enforcement join together to identify pre-attack behavior, indicators, warning signs. How many times have we sat here, you know, at this desk talking about after an attack, oh, well, he was disenfranchised at work or we saw postings online?

[04:40:01] Those are things we need to get ahead of. We need to be on our toes, on our heels when it comes to terrorism and attacks in the United States. MARQUARDT: How do you think authorities will be responding now? Will

they -- are they fearful of more ISIS attacks? Will they be stepping up security all across the country?

WACKROW: Listen, you know, law enforcement nationwide is going to have their head on a swivel in the near future. Again, we don't know the motive of this attack. We don't know if it was the first of many? I man, there are indications it may not be, but we don't know.

So, in the absence of that, we have to, you know, mitigate all as a rule vulnerabilities. I think, you know, New York City is, you know, has one of the best law enforcement agencies in the country. I worry about attacks in localities that don't have 35,000 police officers to respond to terrorist incidents. That's where the private/public partnership between law enforcement and the community is critical as an early warning sign to attack.

MARQUARDT: People -- you are saying people who suspect something to come forward and say something.

WACKROW: See something, say something. Very simple.

ROMANS: Jonathan Wackrow, it's so nice to have you here.

WACKROW: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.

ROMANS: Thank you for your guidance on that.

All right. Three passports, fake names, millions of dollars, explain why Paul Manafort is under House arrest. Now, the president is lashing out at a former aide who pleaded guilty in the Russia probe.


[04:45:36] ROMANS: All right. Washington grilling Silicon Valley about its role in the 2016 election. Lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, Google testified in the first of three hearings this week. Really tough questions about Russian meddling during the election and these companies being asleep at the switch.

A lot of questions over this company's ability to track who buys ads on their sites. Senator John Kennedy asked this to Facebook's general counsel.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: You have 5 million advertisers that change every month, every minute, probably every second. You don't have the ability to know who every one of those advertisers is, do you?

COLIN STRETCH, GENERAL COUNSEL, FACEBOOK: To your question about seeing behind the platform to understand if there are corporations, of course the answer is no. We cannot see behind the activity.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: These companies have been harshly criticized for allowing misinformation to run rampant in 2016, essentially offering up the platform and then not monitoring it, allowing a Russian influence scheme on their platforms to potentially sway the election.

On Facebook, more than half the U.S. voting population, half of voters saw posted from a Kremlin linked troll farm. Twitter identified about 2,700 accounts linked to the same group. The goal of those groups was, essentially, to just stir the pot of the United States on race, on income inequality, on police brutality. And some are very violent, these posts.

MARQUARDT: And a staggering number of them, too.

ROMANS: And a staggering number spread and seen by legitimate users. And tech companies are criticized by saying we don't navigate what's on here, we just provide the platform.

MARQUARDT: Very hands off.


MARQUARDT: All right. Well, it's now becoming clear why the feds placed former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates under house arrest after they were indicted in a Russia investigation. New details have emerged from court filings, revealing that Manafort currently has three different U.S. passports. Manafort traveled to Mexico, China and Ecuador this year with a phone, and e- mail account that were registered to a different name.

ROMANS: According to prosecutors, Manafort's top deputy, Rick Gates, has been opening and closing bank accounts frequently, 55 accounts, with 13 different financial institutions, to be exact. Prosecutors say both men are multimillionaires. They both have means and motive to flee. The next court appearance for Manafort and Gates scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

MARQUARDT: A guilty plea from another campaign adviser named George Papadopoulos has the White House rattled. CNN has learned that Trump associates are worried about who else could be working with the special prosecutor's team. The president and his staff are trying to down play the role he played in the campaign referring to him as low level and a liar on Twitter.

While Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, at the White House, reinforced that message.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I can say is, I think Papadopoulos is an example of somebody doing the wrong thing while the president's campaign did the right thing. All of his e-mails were voluntarily provided to the special counsel by the campaign. That is what led to the process and the place that we are in now is the campaign fully cooperating and helping with that. What Papadopoulos did was lie and that's on him, not on the campaign. And we can't speak for that.


ROMANS: It's worth noting, the e-mails prove Papadopoulos was in touch with several high level Trump campaign aides in ongoing conversations. CNN has also learned President Trump is rejecting Steve Bannon's call to fight back hard against special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The president's former chief strategist recommended funding should be cut for Mueller's investigation among other things.

Mueller's team is also getting ready to interview White House communications director Hope Hicks. She's one of the president's longest serving aides. The interview is set for mid-November. An official expects all White House interviews to be done by Thanksgiving.

All right. Forty-nine minutes past the hour.

Big tech facing some tough questions on Capitol Hill. But you know what? Investors, they love them. Tech's top five now worth more than $3 trillion. Details on CNN "Money Stream", next.


[04:54:17] MARQUARDT: Welcome back.

Questions still remain about the extent of U.S. military operations all around the world thrust into the spotlight by that deadly ambush in Niger earlier this month, an attack that left four U.S. soldiers dead. Despite a bipartisan push to address current authorization for use of military force that is now 16 years old. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis say no major changes are needed.

CNN's Arwa Damon is live in Niger with the very latest.

Arwa, what have you learned?


Well, if we look at the bigger picture and how the U.S. is actually approaching the war on terror on the continent, many would argue that there does need to be some changes.

[04:55:02] Because as soldiers on the ground here in Niger have been telling us, America's current strategy from their perspective -- and remember they are out there every day, getting ambushed and attacked on a fairly regular basis -- they say that America's current strategy is not working, especially when it comes to the fight against terror in this particular zone in Africa and West Africa.

Now, we did go out to the ambush site, the October 4 ambush site. And you get a sense of appreciation for the terrain. At times, it is open. At times you have dense forests. When the soldiers approach those particular areas, they get out and they begin pushing through on foot. They also arrived with us toward the outskirts of the village. We saw

heavy machine gun, bullet casings littering the ground. The soldiers we were with, our escorts, fairly edgy, on high alert because they suspect that the villagers may perhaps have been complicit in this attack. They only gave us ten minutes on the ground.

The villagers themselves saying that they had no idea who the attackers were. That up to that day, they'd never ever seen the American military, American soldiers coming through this particular area, and that the attack happened just outside the village, emanating from a single building that was used as a classroom in that building as we did witness had been burnt.

As we were driving away from the ambush site, we also saw more bullet casings littering the ground as well. And Niger has been very significant for the U.S. military because it's not just about the advise and assist mission here, it's about the fact that the U.S. has one of its key drone bases, currently in Niamey, with another one under construction further to the north, in Agadez. When they finished that one in Agadez, they are going to be moving their drone operations to that location.

Why is it important? Because Niger is at a nexus of multiple terror threat. But again, perhaps the U.S. does need to at this stage reassess how it's approaching the war on terror here.

MARQUARDT: Some fantastic reporting from Arwa Damon in Niger over the last few days, thanks very much, Arwa.

ROMANS: All right. Here at home, a teacher in California is recovering after she was held hostage by a parent for nearly seven hours. Authorities say the man barged into his child's elementary school in riverside east of Los Angeles. "The L.A. Times" reports the intruder punched a male teacher before taking a female teacher hostage.

MARQUARDT: Officers were eventually able to force their way into the classroom, shooting the suspect and freeing the teacher. She was taken to the hospital as precaution. The condition of the parent is unknown. Classes at the school have been canceled for the rest of the week. There's no word on motive.

The World Series is going to game seven. Los Angeles Dodgers taking game six from the Houston Astros, 3-1, last night. L.A. was trailing 1-0 in the sixth when Chris Taylor doubled in a run to tie the score and Corey Seager followed with a long sacrifice fly, putting Los Angeles ahead to stay. Tonight, Dodgers Stadium will be hosting its first World Series game seven, ever.

Yu Darvish taking the mound for L.A. against Houston's Lance McCullers Jr.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream" this morning, the first day of a new month. The global stocks are higher after Wall Street finished a strong October. All three major indexes, the best monthly gains since February. Stocks were helped yesterday by Apple. Shares at a record high and

positive reviews of the much anticipated iPhone X. While strong earnings from Mondelez and Kellogg boosted the S&P 500.

So far, third quarter earnings have been better than expected. More than half of the S&P 500 companies have reported profit growth is 7 percent. That's better than the analyst prediction.

To Tesla now. Tesla's Model 3 delays may land the company in court. Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned ramping up production of the Model 3 will be difficult and prompted a shareholder lawsuit alleging that Tesla and Musk improperly hid the company's problems from investors. Six other law firms are planning class action lawsuits.

Tesla only built 260 of its Model 3 cars during the third quarter, not the planned 1500. Tesla claims that a handful of assembly lines had taken longer to activate than expected.

All right. Tech's top five now worth more than $3 trillion. We are talking shares from Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, that's a parent of Google. Look how they skyrocketed this year, all up more than 30 percent. In fact, all five stocks are trading either at or near record highs.

The stocks are surging even as tech executives face tough questions about Russian meddling on Capitol Hill, about these tech companies being asleep at the switch, while the Russians wrecked havoc in the election. Wall Street, though, has largely brushed aside those concerns about Russia, instead focusing on how much money these companies are making and their growth potential. And they are making a lot of money.

MARQUARDT: A lot of money -- more than 50 percent for Facebook this year.

EARLY START continues right now.