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Six Killed, 30 Wounded in London Terror Attacks; Eyewitnesses Speak to CNN. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired June 4, 2017 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers around the world and in the United States this hour. I'm Hala Gorani with our continuing breaking news coverage from the British capital.
Six people at least have been killed in a brazen terrorist rampage. It started with a van speeding across London Bridge, mowing down pedestrians. According to one witness who spoke to CNN, people went flying into the air.
The van swerved into oncoming lanes, seeming obviously like a deliberate act. British media say this is the van; you see it there on your screen.
Police say from there, that vehicle drove to nearby Borough Market. Panicked patrons went running for their lives, as witnesses say the attackers started stabbing people.
Now the death toll stands at six, according to U.K. police. We have some graphic pictures to show you from inside Borough Market. You can see people with blood on their clothing, lying on the ground, others tending to the wounded.
Authorities say more now than 30 people have been taken to hospitals across London; 80 medical personnel responded to this emergency situation. And we have this picture, taken by a witness, which shows two men on the ground.
We don't know for sure if these were the assailants. But police say they shot and killed all three attackers. They were wearing fake explosive vests. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ROWLEY, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: Our current belief is that there were three attackers. But this is early on, so we still have got some inquiries to work through to be completely confident about that. And it shows armed response vehicles are out, driving around London,
day in and day out to protect the public. They responded quickly, bravely confronted these three individuals, shot them and they are dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now we are as close as authorities will allow us to get to where it happened. It happened just south of London Bridge, if you're familiar with London. A major landmark in this city. It happened about 10:00 pm local time on a Saturday night.
You can imagine at that time, restaurants and bars are packed with people. Take a look at another video that shows the scene inside one of the crowded cafes.
GORANI: Let's bring in our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson; our senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen, as well.
So, Fred, I'm going to start with you.
Authorities are telling us six people killed, all three assailants shot dead, so no one left on the loose?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's what it seems like. And it was really interesting in the early stages after this attack. I got here about 45 minutes after it took place. There really was still a lot of chaos.
And I think a lot of that stemmed from the police not being sure whether or not there were still other people than these three possibly still involved because one of the remarkable things that happened is that the police moved in very, very quickly and eliminated these three within about eight minutes of this happening.
And all of that in that chaos that we saw on that video just before. However, when we got here, there still was a lot of chaos going on. There were a lot of people going down the street from back to -- that's where the London Bridge incident took place, coming down here, the police telling them to move very, very quickly.
Some of them with their hands on their heads to identify themselves as not being assailants. There were police officers conducting what seemed to be sweeps or raids in the area back there. We heard several loud bangs as well.
So it was really a very fast-moving operation.
GORANI: And difficult for the police to know among those running toward them who is potentially one of the assailants. At that point, they didn't know.
PLEITGEN: They didn't know and they did stop several people to search them. I spoke to one eyewitness who said he was in a side alley and he saw that take place. He saw the police all of a sudden move in and question three people.
But even more remarkable, in the chaos in Borough Market, which obviously was even fuller than it was out here, to then identify these people so quick and then take them out so quickly, that's certainly something that was very, very remarkable.
GORANI: Just so I'm clear, there was the incident with the van. Obviously a deliberate attack, the van --
GORANI: -- plowing into pedestrians. Then there were the stabbings at Borough Market.
Are those two separate groups of attackers or the same?
PLEITGEN: No, it looks like they were the same attackers. That's one of the things that was really unclear throughout the better part of the night. We were still referring to this being two separate incidents, even though we knew that it was very close, basically the exact same area.
And already it seemed as though they might very well be related. But it does appear as though they plowed into the area around London Bridge, apparently swerving as they went onto the bridge, then continued on to Borough Market, went out and went on their stabbing rampage there.
GORANI: All right, thanks very much. And by the way, quickly, no claim of responsibility --
PLEITGEN: Not yet. Not yet. So far unclear who is behind it at this point.
GORANI: Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much.
I'm going to go to Nic Robertson, he is coming to us also from, I believe, the Borough Market area.
Nic, talk to us first about the government response.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the government response has been very clear. It took the police several hours before they made a statement.
But they've been very clear in that statement, that they got the first call local time at eight minutes past 10:00 and they responded within eight minutes on the scene and having shot the three attackers dead.
So the police response has been very fast. We've heard from the ambulance services here, say they've now transported 30 different people to hospital. They've treated others that haven't required hospital attention.
They've been taken to six different hospitals across the city. That's standard procedure.
We know that the prime minister early this morning at Downing Street will be having a COBR session, a Cabinet Office Briefing Room session. That will be with her security chiefs, her intelligence chiefs, police chief and also there you can expect the transport secretary and other key cabinet officials.
At that stage, she'll get a briefing on all the police have been able to discover overnight, all the intelligence services have been able to discover overnight; if they now know who the attackers were, if they know who they were connected to, if they know, at this stage, if they had been on their intelligence services radar in the past, as was the case in Manchester attack recently, as was the case in the Westminster attack recently.
So all of that will give the prime minister enough information to begin to consider what the ramifications of this may be. We know after the Manchester attack, it was on the second COBR session later in the day, that day immediately after the attack that night before, that it was decided to raise the terror threat level.
And of course that is something that can be a consideration for the prime minister. At this stage, though, the details we have perhaps indicate she may not need to do that because the three attackers are dead. And they didn't have explosives on them.
In the case of Manchester, where the terror threat level was raised, explosives were used and it gave the possibility therefore that there could be a continuing explosives threat -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. Nic Robertson, thank you very much, reporting live from London, part of our team covering this breaking news story.
An eyewitness, Jack Applebee, is a restaurant owner near London Bridge. He described the terror attack as it unfolded. Listen.
JACK APPLEBEE, RESTAURANT OWNER AND EYEWITNESS: Well, I was outside with a few friends and it was a little bit crazy. Like people just kept running down the street and like this one girl was like staying that they're stabbing everyone, they're stabbing people.
And I immediately just turned back around -- and I've got a restaurant full of customers and I just said, "Everyone, to the back," to the back bar. So I was trying to get there, just as quick as we can, literally everyone just got up off their seat, like rushed them all to the back.
And then it just sort of -- yes, you don't really think at the time, and just sort of went to go and grab the keys for the shutter and just sort of tried to put the -- tried to put the -- basically put the shutter down. And I literally turned back around and there were these three men,
standing there, one of which with a machete. And they had this sort of belt on. We didn't really -- they just looked at us and I just didn't really know what to do.
Everyone was sort of at the back of the restaurant and they just sort of carried on going back down towards the street. And me and a colleague ran to the front and we saw -- he kept lookout. And I just saw -- managed to get the shutter down. We just sort of got the shutter down almost or as far as we could.
And it was like a moment of panic. And like the shutter was just being as slow as usual. And we just saw everyone got locked inside and we left -- we left the shutter down. But then when we looked up -- we looked underneath, that -- probably about five minutes later, everyone was in the back. And -- which everyone was worried, like we don't know. There still was a gap in the shutter.
But about five minutes later, there was just gunshots everywhere. And everyone's upstairs, like just trying to keep down and we're just trying to keep everyone calm, my whole staff, everyone just sort of --
APPLEBEE: -- everyone -- really, the job, honestly.
It was like -- it was a moment of absolute panic. And then for about an hour and a half, we were hiding upstairs and there's just gunshots going everywhere. And what we seemed to believe might have been like suicide vests. So everyone sort of -- we put everyone in the staff room up top and everyone sort of kept down and just sort of handing out water to everyone.
And just sort of -- trying to keep everyone OK. It was just crazy. And then next thing, about an hour and a half later, the police knocked on the shutter and sort of -- they called for me to come give them the key. They opened the shutter and everyone gets sort of escorted out of there like immediately, their hands on their head, like running towards The Shard. It was just, yes, so crazy.
GORANI: Jonathan Wood analyzes global terror threats for the firm Control Risks.
Thanks for being with us, Jonathan. Let's talk a little bit about the M.O. here. It doesn't appear as though the assailants had any explosives. It looked like the suicide vests, based on what we're hearing, though this is yet to be confirmed, were fake. No firearms.
What does this tell you?
JONATHAN WOOD, CONTROL RISKS: These types of tactics -- vehicle ramming attacks, knife attacks -- have become much more prevalent over the last two to three years since the surge in Islamic State-inspired terrorism. It's low-tech, no training, most likely, and also very unpredictable.
And that's one reason why we've seen perhaps homegrown jihadists in particular embrace this style of attack, especially in Western countries where firearms or explosives may be more difficult to obtain.
GORANI: And we know there's been no claim of responsibility but we also know that ISIS is encouraging what it calls its soldiers to use vehicles to kill civilians.
WOOD: That's exactly right. And I would not be surprised to see it claim the responsibility from ISIS in the relatively near future. They do have a track record of claiming these types of mostly likely autonomous or independent attacks.
Obviously the police will be exploring and investigating whether or not there were any communications or other types of linkages between the individuals involved in this incident and a foreign group.
GORANI: And ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks where there have been mistakes on names or haven't been completely clear that there was a direct link. They claimed the Manila incident that turned out not even to be a terrorist attack.
In this case, they are desperate, if indeed the claim comes, to associate themselves with any kind of assault in a Western capital or a big Western city.
WOOD: That's right. And it is the case that many of these individuals involved in these types of attacks and also plots have been motivated by sympathy for Islamic State.
But certain at this time when they are under very substantial military pressure in the Middle East, they're very keen to demonstrate their resilience, their ability to strike back at Western countries and their ability to bring that conflict here to Europe.
GORANI: This is, for U.K. police and counterterrorism agencies, a nightmare. This is the third time in just a few weeks. First, the Westminster Bridge, then obviously that Manchester attack with the suicide bomber in the arena and now potentially what police are telling us is also a terrorist incident, a terrorist assault on London Bridge.
What's going on here?
Because we didn't see this in the U.K. for a long time.
WOOD: No, that's right. This is the -- certainly the highest intensity of these types of attacks in the U.K. for more than 10 years. This is exactly the type of incident that the police here in London and around the U.K. have planned for and trained for, for several years.
And especially since Westminster, you've seen a lot more in the way of protective security deployments. And that was certainly, I believe, the case here at London Bridge yesterday evening.
And, at the same time, what it suggests is that this type of attack, these types of tactics, very difficult to prevent.
GORANI: But, Jonathan, the thinking was, when the attacks happened in France or Belgium or even in Germany that, well, it's the E.U., it's Schengen. You can drive, you know, from one country to the next without controls. At least the U.K. has some sort of natural physical barrier. Also their counterterrorism agencies are very effective at defusing plots before they happen.
It hasn't been the case in the last few weeks.
I wonder, has anything changed?
WOOD: Those conditions that you mentioned, they all --
GORANI: And obviously the physical barrier hasn't gone away but I mean, is there something else at play here?
WOOD: We see a couple drivers in the threat environment; first, the increased desire of Islamic State and other groups to strike back at Western countries.
Certainly as the investigation into the Manchester bombing proceeds, a new linkage between returnees from Libya and perhaps other countries to the U.K. is being learned about in more detail. But it's certainly the case that the U.K. historically and today remains a very high- profile target for Islamist extremist groups globally.
And that may well just be case that is driving this higher level of activity that we've seen.
GORANI: Jonathan Wood, really appreciate your analysis and expertise. Thanks very much for joining us on CNN.
As we continue our breaking coverage, six people killed, three assailants as well, authorities are telling us, gunned down.
We now know British prime minister Theresa May has spoken with the American president, Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump tweeted about the attacks earlier, saying, "We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the --
GORANI: "-- travel ban as an extra level of safety," there making a statement on the travel ban that was struck down by courts in the United States.
A bit later, the president tweeted, "Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there. We are with you. God bless!"
You're watching our continuing coverage of two violent incidents in London being treated as terrorism. I'll have a lot more of our breaking news story when we return. Don't go away.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. If you're just joining us, we want to update you on our breaking news as we continue to broadcast live from London this morning.
At least six people were killed and 30 wounded in a pair of terrorist incidents in London. Three assailants were also shot dead. It's our understanding there are no other assailants on the loose.
Now in the first incident connected to the second, police say a speeding van mowed down pedestrians on the London Bridge. Police say, from there, the van drove to nearby Borough Market and panicked patrons.
You can imagine, as you see in these images, went running for their lives, as witnesses say the attackers started stabbing people. When details of the terrible incident started coming in, one of the first eyewitnesses CNN spoke to was Mark Roberts. He was at London Bridge and spoke to our Ana Cabrera.
MARK ROBERTS, EYEWITNESS: The police got here very quickly. And the shots sounded to me like -- the gunfire sounded to me like it was coming from the Borough Market area. That's in Southwark. So I know London fairly well and that sounded to me like the area it was coming from.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now was that the same direction the van was headed?
ROBERTS: It's a bit further on. So that would have been consistent with somebody getting out of the van and running away and then being caught.
CABRERA: When you saw the van and the incident unfolding, how long did it take for police to respond?
Were they very close to that area?
Do you have a sense of how long it took? ROBERTS: It was very quick. There were police patrolling around all the time anyway in the area. And then there were -- obviously at London Bridge station tonight and there were probably half a dozen police at the station itself earlier in the evening, just being a presence.
So they would have been on the scene very quickly. I'm not going to be able to continue on the line because I'm -- at the moment, I'm in a bus. But police are gathering together all of the witnesses that were on the bridge.
And they're taking us to a hotel, where they're going to take statements from us. So, at the moment, I'm being transported by the police to another location.
And are the people that you are with all people who are uninjured?
Or are some of them who were loaded up affected directly by this incident?
ROBERTS: They're all uninjured. The people who've been treated, there were paramedics all over the place dealing with the people who've been injured.
CABRERA: About how many people are injured?
ROBERTS: I don't have any -- well, in my line of sight, I could see maybe five or six people on the ground, spread out across the area that I could see. But I couldn't see any more than that.
GORANI: An eyewitness there in the immediate aftermath of the attack, speaking to CNN.
Juliette Kayyem is a CNN security analyst and former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She joins me now from Boston, Massachusetts.
Juliette, it appears as though all the assailants have been taken out. It also appears as though these two incidents, starting with the van ramming into the pedestrians and then ending with those stabbings at Borough Market are related and not two separate incidents.
Now what is your reaction as these pieces of the puzzle come together this morning?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: This is a different kind of attack than we've seen in the past. It was highly orchestrated but not very sophisticated.
So you had three men who organized to do an attack. So the terminology lone wolf just simply won't apply here. What we still don't know -- and this will be the beginning of the investigation -- not only do we not know who they are and who they may have been in contact in Britain but whether there was any cooperation with any outside entities.
Did any of them travel, did they get training, were they inspired somehow?
That's where the investigation is going. I will say something, though, on just what we've seen unfolding as you have been to overnight. The response by the London police, the Metropolitan Police predominantly, was truly remarkable.
I have to say, if you told me that three men entered a van, went across London Bridge and then had knives to continue the attack, while tonight is a horrible night, it's clear that the quick reaction, the communication to the public, if you follow them on Facebook or Twitter, they were getting communications out quickly to tell the public what to do.
That's what police train for, unfortunately, in today's day and age. And it really does save lives, because you simply are telling the public how to protect themselves.
GORANI: And you're right to highlight that, Juliette, because it took them eight minutes to respond to the incident, according to reports, and we were following the Metropolitan Police's Twitter feed and they were providing updates in real time, making sure people didn't get false information on social media.
So they definitely did a great job.
But for counterterrorism agencies in this country, this is a nightmare. I mean, this is the third time in about a month that we are seeing an attack, low-tech, obviously more sophisticated in Manchester, more low-tech in this case, where we're seeing knives and a vehicle used.
But something is going on here where the frequency of these attacks has essentially increased in a considerable way. We haven't seen this in years.
So I do wonder, what is your thinking on what is going on in the U.K. right now?
KAYYEM: Part of it is just going to be a reaction to the sort of, you know, this focus on Ramadan. We've had two -- Ramadan is only two weeks old now. We have two attacks just in London alone.
And so it's clear that whatever call to action has gone out is being heard in England in particular right now as we're seeing.
Look, and we also cannot deny the fact that there is an election coming up. I don't know how this plays in particular, British politics --
KAYYEM: -- the fear and terror tend to help the more Conservative candidate in democracies. That's just a general rule of thumb.
But we do know that terrorists have focused on election or preelection times to wreak havoc, to put it in people's minds in terms of how they're voting or how they're thinking.
So the fact that there is this election coming up is -- has got to be relevant, not just for the terrorists but, of course, for British authorities, who are going to have to just be focused on the potential that there's not just two attacks but there could be others.
And look, they do not need to be coordinated; these calls to action go out to a world and to men, predominantly men who might be sympathetic.
GORANI: And no claim of responsibility so far but that's not unusual. Usually if it is indeed ISIS that wants to associate itself with an attack like this, it takes several hours, sometimes a few days.
KAYYEM: That's exactly right. I would expect something by tomorrow. Generally, we're looking at 12 or 13 hours -- or today, actually, on Sunday, 12 or 13 hours.
Simply though because ISIS says they're ours doesn't mean that the law enforcement accepts it. This is why the international community becomes relevant for these law enforcement and intelligence investigations.
Whoever these men are, their names have not been identified or are now known to at least one law enforcement and counterterrorism agency, the British. They might likely be known by others in the E.U. and possibly even the United States.
So there's going to be a focus on who they are and who they may have been with or who they were coordinating with.
But this is something that has got to make them very nervous about what's going to unfold in the next week or two and try to stop it with the international community and their support.
I should just say that's why the sort of schism between the United States and Britain during the Manchester investigation was so worrisome for those of us on the counterterrorism side because we know that these cases -- you know, these are borderless threats and therefore the investigations have to be borderless.
GORANI: Yes, we remember the leaks of those images of the aftermath of the suicide bombing in the arena that so angered the United Kingdom, that led to the brief suspension of information sharing between the two countries.
Juliette Kayyem, thank you very much.
Six people killed, three assailants as well taken out, six people, the families and loved ones of six people going through Arab spring hell right now as this country faces yet another terror attack.
This is the third attack in the U.K. in the past 2.5 months. On March 22nd, a 52-year-old man plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, stabbed a police officer who died. Five people were killed, including that officer; 40 were wounded. The attacker was killed by police.
On May 22nd, less than two weeks ago, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Manchester Arena just after an Ariana Grande concert. And 22 people were killed, hundreds more injured, many of them still in hospital.
And just a few hours ago, a van slammed into pedestrians on London Bridge and there were multiple stabbings reported at nearby Borough Market, which, on a Saturday night, is buzzing with activity; restaurants, cafes, people just out. It was quite a warm day, out just to have fun on a Saturday night with an evening there, ending in horror.
Coming up, we'll have more on the deadly terror attacks that have shut down parts of London. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
GORANI: Welcome back, everybody, to our viewers in the United States and all around the world, as we continue to follow our breaking news out of London.
We can still hear helicopters overhead, still quite a tense situation here near London Bridge. Two terror incidents have left six people dead in the city on a Saturday night. Police say the attacks were connected.
It all started with a van plowing into pedestrians on the bridge itself. One witness says he saw someone jump into the water to avoid getting hit. The attackers then went to nearby Borough Market and started stabbing people there.
It was open late Saturday night, packed with customers; 30 people have been hospitalized. London police say three suspects were shot and killed. We have this picture taken by a witness that shows two men on the ground. You can see they are wearing explosive vests that are fake.
Earlier, U.K. Metropolitan Police tweeted out a message, "Run, hide, tell."
It urged people to get to safety, barricade themselves if they can and call the police once they are safe.
Samuel Burke joins me now live.
What is the latest you're hearing from police in London, Samuel? SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, we're getting a much clearer picture how they responded to the incident. But what's most important right now is they do believe that there were only three assailants and that those three assailants were shot.
They're not 100 percent certain of that; that is the assumption they're working under right now. We now know at exactly 10:08 pm local time, they get a call saying that there's been an incident on London Bridge. And we hear from eyewitnesses that a car is ramming into people, flinging them into the air, maybe 20 to 30 feet.
And there are armed vehicles now patrolling London, day in and day out. And those vehicles were among the first to respond to the incident at London Bridge. And then within minutes they realized that there's something else going on in Borough Market.
Just to give people a better sense, Borough Market is one of the most popular places for people to gather, especially on a weekend evening. And police go there and they confront the three assailants and shoot them there.
And that is within eight minutes of them getting that first call, the three assailants are shot.
But they continue patrolling the area. And you can see from the video, pedestrians and people pouring out of restaurants and nightclubs with their hands up because police aren't sure who is just a pedestrian, who is just part of the public or who is one of these assailants.
So you see the videos of police even entering restaurants and telling people, get down, and they're looking all around, trying to figure out who is an assailant and who isn't.
Now at this point, they say that they're putting extra police --
BURKE: -- out on the street today, here in London, across the capital. But also one of the most telling is hearing from eyewitnesses who are saying that the police -- or rather somebody came all of a sudden into one of the restaurants and said, there's a man with a knife coming.
He comes into the restaurant, eyewitnesses say, stabs a waitress and then another patron of the restaurant and then walks out. So that is the scene that we're getting a much clearer picture of from police here in London right now.
GORANI: All right, Samuel Burke there, a lot of praise, by the way, for the police and how quickly they acted. And in a very confusing situation, because as Samuel mentioned there, it was unclear exactly among the crowds of people who could have been responsible for it and who was just an innocent bystander.
Well, speaking of eyewitnesses, Jack Applebee is a restaurant owner near London Bridge, who was standing outside when suddenly people came running down the street in panic. He described to CNN what happened next.
JACK APPLEBEE, RESTAURANT OWNER AND EYEWITNESS: So I would say probably about six or seven times we heard gunshots going off down the street. Each time we like three or four, maybe more gunshots at a time. That first one, probably heard about 10-15 gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And where exactly did you see these men in the vests that you described?
Were they right outside your restaurant or a ways away?
And what were they doing?
APPLEBEE: There were two men, one of which we saw the vest on, which, luckily, one of my colleagues, he was -- he was so good, he's like -- he's like really a devout Muslim, like such a good guy. And like he was just -- he was honestly one of the heroes in it all.
He just saw -- he just told everyone, he said he saw the vest and told everyone to get back, kept everyone calm, like told me what it was and we just put everyone to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack, can you --
APPLEBEE: -- with this -- with this -- what appeared a vest. And we just worried about an explosion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack, did it look like a suicide vest, did it look like what you've seen pictures of suicide vests?
Were there wires?
Were there --
APPLEBEE: No, I just saw like big packets all around him, like just saw around his stomach really. But nothing, nothing went off. And like there were police, like police lights all on the body, like making sure he don't move. Like the police seemed to do like really good job very quickly.
And I don't -- I don't -- I didn't see -- I didn't see any actual casualties or injuries. All of our customers were OK. I'm just so glad they never came in and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
APPLEBEE: -- we got the shutter down because if we didn't get them shutters down, when they were shooting them -- they died outside the restaurant. If they'd run in or something, I don't know.
GORANI: I'm joined now by former FBI special agent Bobby Chacon in Palm Springs, California.
And former member of the Israeli counterterrorist unit, Aaron Cohen, who joins me from Los Angeles.
I'm going to start with you, Bobby, first of all. This is more reminiscent of the Westminster bridge attack there, where it was a very low-tech attack with a vehicle and then knives.
Very unlike really what we saw in Manchester, where it appeared as though the terrorist had had some sort of specialized training.
What do you make of an attack like this?
What should we make of it?
BOBBY CHACON, FORMER FBI AGENT: I would think of it, certainly -- and, of course, this is before we know anything about it. I would make of it these guys may have self-radicalized. They may have operated independently. And that will be found out.
I could be wrong but, for me, something this says these are three guys that possibly radicalized. I'm assuming it's another Ramadan attack. We've had dozens of them around the world; we're only in day eight of Ramadan.
So it looks like these guys, because of the low-tech style, they probably didn't have the support and the planning that went into the Manchester bombing last week but that they were inspired somehow by ISIS ideology or radical ideology. And so we may not find the same network that was found in Manchester.
GORANI: Aaron Cohen, you can't really protect a city the size of London from these attacks. They could be inspired by ISIS but not directed by ISIS. It's virtually impossible to prevent them.
AARON COHEN, FORMER MEMBER, ISRAELI COUNTERTERRORISM UNIT: I don't know if I agree with that. I think that there's a lot more that can be done and there's a lot more that needs to be done.
Take the Ariana Grande concert for instance. A little bit of surveillance on a venue that holds 30,000 people, some -- the terrorist who ended up opening fire there -- or blowing himself up, in a little bit of surveillance realized that the end of the concert was a very soft area because large-scale events tend to soften down in terms of security. And then blew himself up at the crowded area right near the tube station.
London Bridge can also be protected. I'm not a structural engineer but I can tell you that bollards can be put in place to divide the driving area from the pedestrians who were walking on the London Bridge or riding bicycles. And I can tell you there's 40,000 people who cross that bridge a day just by Googling it and it's a national --
COHEN: -- symbol in London. And why you can't -- to answer -- to agree with you to some extent, like, you can't protect every bridge and you can't protect every event but you can certainly implore or lay down -- and I've been saying this for years -- a multilayered security apparatus so that it would take a multifailure event in order for the terrorist to reach its target.
And what I mean by that is every layer would have to fail.
Now the police response was very fast; eight minutes is good in any country. So hats off to those responding counterterror officers who were armed. But that's just one layer. We need to be looking in London -- London is -- it almost feels like it's under siege right now. We've seen two, three attacks in the last, what is it, 20 days.
There are security measures that can be done and every soft target cannot be treated with soft security. We found that out in Israel over 25 years ago. So these layers can be applied.
And I think that while the British and -- they're applying pressure overseas, the more pressure they apply, the more defense we're going to have to be put on. And an honest, realistic look has to be approached with all of these soft targets. Otherwise, we'll see more terror.
GORANI: Yes. Right. It's a city of 8 million people with, as you mentioned, many bridges, many landmarks, many high-profile targets. There are millions of tourists in the U.K. as we speak. So obviously this is an area where you might see many of those types of patrons and customers and pedestrians.
Bobby, though, three assailants were killed by authorities. So it's not one person or even two, it's three. So, presumably, if they got together and planned this-- I mean, authorities are going to have to look back at whether or not they missed communication between them or if this had been something that they had spoken about, maybe shared with other people, right?
I mean, that's the kind of intelligence gathering they need to do now, looking back, kind of --
GORANI: -- backtracking to how this all started.
CHACON: I think they've already started; obviously, they've probably already started that process. And I think we'll find out more in the coming days. However, as you mentioned earlier, the mechanism of attack here was so crude and so basic, that they didn't really need a lot of help. They didn't need a network to provide some of this stuff. They didn't
need a bombmaker. They didn't need technical expertise in any of this. So this could be three thugs that turned to this ideology, decided to get a van and a couple of big knives and carry this out.
So I'm not so sure that they needed to have a big network. They may have talked -- you know, looking back on some of these events, a lot of times, family members could have clued somebody in; they talked about it -- but sometimes not.
And with an event like this, because the mode was so crude, you know, they may not have talked to a lot of people other than themselves. I mean, you know, to an earlier point, eight minutes is a good response time.
However, you know, for me, it's -- you know, in the city where I'm from, in New York City, in a landmark like the London Bridge, if you had something to equal that in New York City, the response time would be half that, if that. It probably would be less than half that.
And when -- you know, I read a report about an hour ago that said two of the community police officers in the area ran the other way, away from these attackers, because they were unarmed and the community police there.
So the London authorities have to start thinking about, you know, pushing some weapons and weapons training down to more police officers in the streets, especially around tourist areas like that. Now these don't have to be guns. They can be less than lethal modes. But you know, Tasers and bean bags.
But they have to start thinking in those terms, that we have to start arming the officers in the street with the capability not to run away from these attackers if they have a big machete.
But you know what, if I'm a cop and I don't have any means to defend myself --
GORANI: But despite that --
CHACON: -- with my own two hands --
GORANI: Yes. And despite that, it took them eight minutes, the armed officers, to get to the scene. So it wasn't like there was a huge delay because the beat cops weren't armed.
CHACON: Right. But if the beat cops were armed, it would have -- you know, we have to see at what point -- those beat cops may have been there two minutes. It wasn't -- but they're not armed so they can't take action against armed assailants.
So you have -- you know, the U.K. has to start maybe -- you know, in like -- like Aaron said, London seems to be under siege now. And when you're under siege, you may have to change your methods a little bit and they have to start --
COHEN: -- every second you waste, another innocent person is killed. That's how it works. That's the mathematical equation with terror. And the London police, the weapons have to sink down to the patrol level. You don't have time to wait for specialized units.
Let me explain how we look at the triangle of counterterror response in my unit in Israel. For every second wasted, another innocent is killed. For every round you miss firing at a terrorist, another innocent is killed. You don't have time. The response has to be rapid, has to be aggressive. Shots have to be fired --
COHEN: -- straight and the officers need to be trained in how to fire bullets into a crowd of people. And that takes specialized training. That needs to get under control. So 100 percent on Bobby's answer.
GORANI: All right. Aaron Cohen and Bobby Chacon, thank you very much. This is definitely a conversation I know this country will have regarding how to respond to these attacks and also to the threat and also how to gather the type of intelligence you need to make sure that plots are thwarted before they become a horrific attack that takes the lives of innocent civilians.
Stay with us. We'll have much more on the London terror attacks here from near London Bridge after the break. You're watching CNN.
GORANI: The latest now on our breaking news out of London. At least six people were killed and 30 wounded Saturday night in back-to-back terror attacks in Central London. Three suspected attackers were shot and killed.
So far, there's been no claim of responsibility. Multiple victims were stabbed in a rampage through Borough Market, a busy area, buzzing on a Saturday night, with shops and cafes.
Moments earlier, a vehicle raced across nearby London Bridge -- you see it there on the map -- slamming into --
GORANI: -- crowds of pedestrians. Let's get more on all this with CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore. He joins me now from Los Angeles via Skype.
So we were discussing with our other guests the fact that this is a low-tech attack. It didn't involve like the Manchester Arena bombing, a sophisticated suicide vest or anything like that. And this would be the second time in about 2.5 months since the Westminster Bridge attack that we're seeing something similar.
What's your take on -- what do you make of what we're witnessing?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it's Ramadan so -- and we kind of expected this type of a grassroots type operation.
But on the other hand, I hate to look at it from the positive on this but you can see now that the security that we have going -- or they have going in Britain -- is causing people to go more and more to the essentially crude attacks, because it's rare that they can mount these attacks such as they did in Manchester.
GORANI: Yes. Yes, that's one way to look at it. But we were discussing with other experts the fact that, for many years -- and we've covered attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany -- and for many years, the U.K. hadn't been a target since 2005, the 7/7 attacks, of something as big as Manchester.
So what's going on now, do you think?
Because in 2.5 months we've seen three.
MOORE: Well, you're seeing the radicalization. You're seeing the social media take hold. I mean, Manchester has a very large Islamic population. London has a large population.
And, statistically, you're going to get a certain number of radicals in that group. So you're getting more people and, at the same time, it is catching on more and more in Britain, which is kind of surprising to a lot of people.
GORANI: Yes. And by the way, as you're speaking to us, we're seeing a still image of the suspects taken out by the cops and they're wearing what appear to be fake suicide vests.
What do you make of that?
MOORE: That's obviously meant to deter or delay any response. The thought is, of the terrorists that, if I have a bomb vest on, officers won't approach. And so if one of us gets shot, it gives the other more time to attack.
And the British forces were very -- very appropriately ignored what looked like crude devices. But it was designed to assist them in killing more people.
GORANI: Right. Thank you very much, Steve Moore. We appreciate it.
Coming up, we'll continue our coverage of the terror attacks that have rocked London. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
GORANI: You're watching our breaking news coverage out of London. At least six people have been killed, 30 injured in two back-to-back terror attacks. Three assailants were also shot dead.
In the first attack, a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge, (INAUDIBLE) say from there the van drove to nearby Borough Market, where the attackers started stabbing people, panicked patrons went running for their lives as witnesses say the attackers started assaulting them.
So far there have been no claims of responsibility. We'll be right back with more.