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New York City Terror Attack Coverage; Lawmakers Grill Internet Company Lawyers over Election Role. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired November 1, 2017 - 03:30   ET





CUOMO: 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.


ROMANS: Defiance from leaders and citizens of New York City in the hours after a terror attack near the World Trade Center. Now the attacker claims he did it for ISIS.

Welcome back to "Early Start" this morning. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt. It is 31 minutes past the hour. Tightened security in New York City this morning as victims and their families face the aftermath of a deadly truck attack in Lower Manhattan.

Officials are calling it terrorism. And we have learned that the suspect left a note claiming that he did it in the name of ISIS.

ROMANS: Well, the attack killed eight people and injured nearly a dozen others. Sources identify the suspect as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov.

And at this point, investigators do believe he acted alone. He launched his attack in broad daylight on a crowded bike path along the Hudson River mowing down cyclists and pedestrians for 16 blocks.

MARQUARDT: It was the deadliest terror attack in New York City since 9/11. And it ended in the shadow of the World Trade Center.

That's where we join our Jean Casarez live with more on the suspect and the victims.

Jean, what can you tell us?

CASAREZ: And we're learning a little bit more about the victims. Eight people lost their lives. Eleven people were injured.

And what we have found out of those that are deceased, five of them were citizens of Argentina, one Belgium national, the other two we do not know the identities at this point.

We also do not know how many remain in the hospital this morning. Also, more information on the suspect in this case, Sayfullo Saipov, and law enforcement actually were able to talk with him before he went into surgery last night.

We do not know what he said to them if at all anything. But some more information that we're finding out about him, it had been noted that he was a truck driver.

But we have learned that he was also employed by Uber -- Uber telling CNN that he was a driver in New Jersey for them. And CNN was able to confirm that he lives in New Jersey at least part-time, even though he did have identification at some point.

Law enforcement say it's related to Florida. But more information about his personal life, he came to the United States in 2010. He also was married in Ohio in 2013.

He married Uzbekistan national also. That is the country he's from. Nazima Odilova (ph) is who he married in 2013 when he was 25, she was 19.

We do not know where she is at this point. But he's gotten in trouble with the law a little bit. I believe the picture we have of him is a mugshot out of Ohio.

And it is where as a truck driver, he did not maintain his brakes. It was a misdemeanor -- maintain his brakes as he should.

But it was yesterday, law enforcement saying hours before the attack that he rented a flatbed U-Haul truck in New Jersey, drove here to New York City, and drove southbound on the west side highway and began mowing people down as they were riding bicycles and walking. He then ended that by slamming into a school bus, injuring two adults and two students.

And then he got out of his vehicle, brandishing two weapons. Law enforcement shot him at that point in the abdomen.

And so he is alive, which is significant, obviously, out of surgery we believe at this point. And we also, according to law enforcement, know that he yelled "Allahu Akbar (ph)" when he can got out of his vehicle and that a note was found inside the truck attributing this, doing this in the name of ISIS.

Law enforcement is saying they believe he acted alone. But they are investigating this as an act of terror on the streets of New York City.

Alex, Christine?


MARQUARDT: Jean, we do know that he is still alive. And -- and that is, in fact, rare after attacks like this.

Do we know what kind of conversations he's had with the authorities, what, if anything, he has told the authorities?

CASAREZ: No, we just know that before surgery, law enforcement were able to talk with him. And remember, in the law, there is something as a safety exception, that when there is an act of terror, if it's believed that others could be associated with this, that there is harm that could come to other citizens in the country, that they are able to question a suspect without an attorney present because of that public safety concern.

We do know they spoke with him. We don't know if he responded and what he said, if he said anything.

MARQUARDT: OK, our thanks to you, Jean. We know you'll stay on this all morning.

ROMANS: All right, this attack comes at a -- a hectic time in New York. It happened just hours before last night's busy Halloween parade, all 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.


CUOMO: There's -- there's no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a 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.


MARQUARDT: Now, President Trump is, of course, from New York City. And his wife, Melania, was in the city when this attack happened.

The president tweeted his condolences and prayers to the victims, then added this, "I have just ordered homeland security to step up our already extreme vetting program. Being politically correct is fine but not for this."

Now, we should note that the suspect is originally from Uzbekistan, a country that has not been included on the president's travel ban.

ROMANS: And joining us now, Fawaz Gerges. He is the Chairman of Contemporary Middle East Studies at the London School of Economics and author of "Isis: a History." He's live in London.

Good morning. At this point, you know, they're calling this an act of terror. They have a suspect here who is -- is alive -- remarkable that they will be able to talk to him and find out how he was radicalized, where he was radicalized and what his intention was. Talk to us a little bit, Professor, about this new trend of using

vehicles as a weapon in these lone-wolf attacks.

GERGES: You're absolutely correct. I mean, I think the -- the good news is that he is still alive. So the authorities will be able to debrief him.

They will be able to talk to him, to find out why and how he was radicalized. Most of these attacks end up with the self-suicide of the attackers themselves.

So we have really many holes, whether you're talking about Nice or London or Germany and what have you. The second point I need to stress is that vehicles have emerged as the weapon of choice, for most of the attacks in Europe and now in the United States.

They're very easy to get -- vans, cars. And ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, has been calling on its followers for the past two years to use whatever primitive weapons they have, whether they have knives or cars.

And in fact, in the past 48 hours, we have some information that ISIS propaganda outlets have called on their followers and supporters to carry out attacks using knives and vans. They're very easy to -- to get.

The good news about -- I mean, if there are any good news because we have, I mean, sadly 11 people have been killed and -- and more than a dozen have been injured -- it's a very tragic, very sad attack -- he did not have advanced weapons. Imagine if he had automatic weapons.

Imagine -- I mean, this could have been much bigger and bloodier because many people -- many people would have been killed in New York last night.

ROMANS: I know (ph) we show him this -- this video of him that someone on the scene took. And you can see him brandishing a weapon, but it is a paintball gun.

MARQUARDT: And -- and a second pellet gun.

ROMANS: Interesting, I think, that it was, you know, a paintball gun. It's almost as if, I mean, he wanted to be killed by a police.

He was shot in the abdomen, went into surgery but is alive, Alex.

MARQUARDT: And for -- for people who fit this profile, martyrdom is -- is certainly an ultimate goal.

Professor, I wanted to ask you, we -- we have seen that the -- the suspect claimed that he carried out this attack in the name of ISIS. We have not seen a claim of a responsibility from ISIS yet.

That, of course, doesn't necessarily mean anything. We've seen them claim attacks in the past that they haven't necessarily...


MARQUARDT: ...been a part of. But now that ISIS has lost such significant territory in its bases of Iraq and Syria, now that they have essentially been reduced to an ideology, not -- not necessarily a territorial power, how much are they able to direct attacks?


We know that they can obviously influence attacks. But how much can they actually...

ROMANS: Inspire.


GERGES: I -- I think you're making a very, very significant distinction between ISIS-directed operations and ISIS-motivated or inspired attacks. My take on it as the so-called Islamic State or caliphate (ph), got dismantled in Iraq and Syria and Libya.

We're talking about really six months or so. The Islamic State will be history, the so-called Islamic State.

So the capacity of ISIS to direct and plot operations will be diminished tremendously, make no doubt about it. In the same way that al Qaeda's capacity to carry out spectacular attacks against the United States after 9/11 had been, I mean, diminished tremendously.

But the fact is the ideology is with us. And this ideology -- the ideology of Jihadism, of Salafi Jihadism, of Islamist radicalism, is a transnational ideology.

Even then, I'm going to make an argument and probably, it's not very popular, my take on it as the Islamic State gets dismantled in Iraq and Syria, as ISIS will face defeat in the Middle East, the ideology will become less attractive. Remember, the reason why many followers in Western countries buy into this utopia, into this mythology, because it was seen as a winning horse.

It was a utopia -- winning utopia because they -- Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS and his associates succeeded in establishing a kind of a rudimentary Islamic State. But as the state itself, the Islamic State, gets defeated, the ideology, this utopia will likely become less attractive.

My take is that the ISIS cycle will run its course in the same way that al Qaeda cycle had run its course. This does not mean we're not going to witness some attacks by lone wolves and deluded individuals who still and can be radicalized by this Islamist ideology of radicalism.

ROMANS: Certainly hope you're right, Professor Gerges. Certainly hope you are right on that.

And the fact that authorities will be able to debrief and interview this man and find out exactly how that Islamist cancer was able to spread and what -- I mean, that could be helpful maybe for prevention further on. Fawaz Gerges, Contemporary Middle East Studies Chair at the London School of Economics, thank you, sir.

MARQUARDT: Thank you. Now, three passports, fake names, and millions of dollars -- that helps explain why former Trump campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, is under house arrest. The president is lashing out at a former aide who pled guilty in this new Russia probe -- all of that next.




ROMANS: All right, welcome back. Washington is grilling Silicon Valley about its role in the 2016 election. Lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google testified in the first of three hearings this week, facing really tough questions about Russian meddling during the election, especially over their 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 five million advertisers that change every month, every minute, probably every second. You don't have the ability to -- to know who every one of those advertisers is, do you?

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


ROMANS: These -- these companies have been, you know, harshly and widely criticized for allowing misinformation to run rampant in 2016, for being asleep at the switch while the Russian influence campaign to use their platforms was huge and aggressive. On Facebook, more than half of the U.S. voting population saw posts from a Kremlin-linked troll (ph) farm.

Twitter identified about 2,700 accounts linked to the same group.

MARQUARDT: And it is 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 the Russia investigation. New details from court filings reveal that Manafort currently has three -- three different U.S. passports.

Manafort traveled to Mexico, China and Ecuador this year with a phone and e-mail account registered under a fake name. ROMANS: And according to prosecutors, Manafort's aide, 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 with means and motive to flee.

The next court appearance for Manafort and Gates is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

MARQUARDT: A guilty plea from former Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopolous, now has the White House rattled. CNN has learned that Trump associates are worried about who else might be working with the special prosecutor's team, the president trying to downplay the role of Papadopolous in the campaign, referring to him as a low-level staffer and a liar on Twitter, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reinforcing that message from the podium.


HUCKABEE SANDERS: So what I can say is that I think that Papadopolous is an example of actually 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.

And that is what led to the process and the place that we're in right now, was the campaign fully cooperating in helping with that. What Papadopolous did was lie and that's on him, not on the campaign.

And we can't speak for that.


ROMANS: It is worth noting, the e-mails prove Papadopolous 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 -- we told you about this yesterday -- to fight back hard against Special Prosecutor Mueller.

The president's former chief strategist recommended funding for Mueller's investigation should be cut, among other really aggressive responses from the White House.


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.

That interview, we're told, is set for mid-November. An (ph) official expects all White House interviews to be done by Thanksgiving.

All right, big tech may be facing tough questions on Capitol Hill. But investors -- investors still love them.

And tech's top five now worth more than $3 trillion -- details on CNN money stream next.




MARQUARDT: The World Series is going to a game 7. The Los Angeles Dodgers taking game 6 from the Houston Astros three to one last night.

L.A. was trailing one-nothing in the sixth inning when Chris Taylor doubled in a run to tie the score. And Corey Seager followed with a long sacrifice fly, putting Los Angeles Dodgers ahead to stay (ph).


Tonight, Dodger Stadium will host its first World Series game 7 ever. Yu Darvish takes the mound for (ph) -- for L.A. against Houston's Lance McMullers (sic), Jr.

ROMANS: A teacher in California is recovering this morning 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 then punched a male teacher before taking a female teacher hostage.

MARQUARDT: Officers eventually forced their way into the classroom, shooting the suspect and freeing the teacher. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The condition of the parent is unknown. Classes at the school have been canceled for the rest of the week. Right now, there is no word on the motive.

ROMANS: A Utah nurse caught on video being handcuffed and dragged has settled her dispute with police for $500,000. The incident, which drew national attention, happened when the nurse, Alex Wubbels, refused to let law enforcement draw blood from an unconscious patient.

This was back in July. Now, Wubbels was -- was following hospital policy. When she told Detective Jeff Payne he would need a warrant or the consent of the patient to draw the blood.

Payne was ultimately fired after an internal investigation found he violated department principles.

MARQUARDT: Rain and snow showers moving into the Ohio valley this morning. Let's bring in Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Christine and Alex, good morning to you both. We're watching very cool air really settling in across portions of the Midwest.

It's (ph) cold enough in places to support some snow showers coming in. I want to show you what's happening right now down around parts of Texas, just north of Houston here, getting in some wet weather this morning. And that is generally the theme. And you kind of follow that all the

way into the cold air's (ph) location, that being across places such as St. Louis, just to the north around Springfield, temps here generally in the lower 40s.

I don't think much of the flakes are reaching the ground. But still, parts of town may be seen kind of that wintery -- wintery mix taking place into the early morning hours.

And notice some of that activity does spill off towards the east. It is very short-lived. We don't expect much in the way of significant accumulation.

You notice temps into the middle 40s. We're going to be well above the freezing mark even in Chicago, 47, in Minneapolis at 38. And a lot of that cold air wants to stay well to the north into Canada.

We see a mild trend really begin to shape up going in towards the weekend. And tell you what, going into early next week, the trend here, above average temperatures for the eastern half of the United States, the seven-day forecast in New York takes us up to 71 degrees, brief cooldown into the weekend and then back up again close to 70 by Monday.

ROMANS: All right, thank you so much for that. Let's get a check on CNN money stream this morning. Global stock markets are higher after Wall Street finished off a very strong October.

In fact, all three major indexes had their best monthly gains since February. Stocks were helped yesterday by Apple.

Shares hit a record high on positive reviews of its 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 predicted.

More than half of the S&P 500 companies have reported. And look, profit growth is seven percent. That is better than what analysts had expected.

Tesla's Model 3 delays may land the company in court. The Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, warned ramping up production of the Model 3 would be difficult but has also prompted at least one shareholder lawsuit, alleging that Tesla and Musk improperly hid the company's problems from its investors.

Six other law firms are planning class action suits. Tesla only built 260 of its Model 3 cars during the third quarter, not the planned 1,500.

The company claimed 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.

Look at this -- shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet -- that's the Google parent -- they have all skyrocketed this year -- all, more than 30 percent. In fact, all five stocks are trading either at or near all-time highs.

The stocks are surging even as the tech execs face tough questions about Russian meddling on Capitol Hill. But Wall Street has largely brushed -- brushed aside those concerns, focusing instead on these companies' huge profits and growth potential.

It is remarkable when you see some of those advances in those stocks (ph).

MARQUARDT: All those people making a lot of money.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

MARQUARDT: "Early Start" continues right now.


CUOMO: 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.


ROMANS: New York City and its leader, defiant in the wake of a terror attack near the World Trade Center -- new details this morning emerging about the attacker, his ISIS claim and what authorities are learning about him. A look at One World Trade Center right now, the spire red white and blue this morning.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to "Early Start."


I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt. It is Wednesday, November 1. It's 4 a.m. here in New York.

Tightened security here in New York City this morning as victims and their families face the aftermath of a deadly truck attack in Lower Manhattan. Officials are calling it --