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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Authorities Investigate Potential Terrorist Incident in New York City. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 31, 2017 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Apparently, according to witnesses and according to law enforcement, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians and runners.
Shimon Prokupecz, you tell us that your law enforcement sources are telling you that at least six people have been killed, and the shooter is -- the driver is not one of them. He apparently has survived, although he's in custody.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's in custody. Police know who he is. They have identified him.
Let's just say they know a lot about him already, based on what I'm being told by several law enforcement sources now.
TAPPER: You mean by that he is somebody that was already on their radar?
PROKUPECZ: No, just that they know -- now they have his identity. They are talking to him.
So I think they have some suspicions about motive at this point, and that's really as far as I think we can go at this point.
TAPPER: With the giant caveat that everything is preliminary right now, are they looking, are they suspicious? We have already been told by two former law enforcement officials that they always assume the worst, and in that case, that would be that this is terrorism. Is that what your sources are telling you?
PROKUPECZ: Essentially, yes.
PROKUPECZ: At this point, you know, absent any other information, I think it's safe to say that in terms of this is always the suspicion among investigators initially.
This is the hallmark of an attack, this type of terrorist attack. It's a hallmark style. So, undoubtedly, it would lead investigators to right away assume that this is terrorism.
TAPPER: And, James Gagliano, formerly of the FBI, you couldn't even think of a softer target. You're talking about a bike path where there aren't even -- there isn't even access for a police car to drive on.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure.
And, Jake, I wrote a piece for CNN Opinion a couple of months back and it was related to the proliferation of these vehicle attacks on soft targets in Europe.
And I stressed and said we can harden all the targets that we want. We can make it impossible to get on planes with a weapon, we can make security screenings at events at any kind of arena or stadium around the country, you know, basically unbreachable, but until we're in a position where we're going to be able to separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic, this new paradigm -- and that's what's it is.
You pointed out it was a new normal of folks saying, hey, listen, I can go just rent a vehicle. And the average car weighs about 2,000 pounds, a ton or so, and I can rent a vehicle and then drive it into pedestrian traffic.
We're going to have to relook at how we separate pedestrians from motor vehicles. And I think concrete bollards are going to be the answer. And I guarantee you, after this, if this turns out to be a terrorist attack, that is going to be something that New York City and other major metropolitan areas are going to give great consideration to, Jake.
TAPPER: We're being told right now, Shimon's sources, that the NYPD, the New York Police Department, is going to have a briefing about this horrific incident at 5:15, so in roughly 45 minutes.
Obviously, CNN will bring that to you live.
Art, what else is going through your mind as you -- as we cover this, this story, this horrific story, somebody, it looks like, renting a truck with the express purpose of driving it to mow down as many people as possible on a bike path on the West Side of Manhattan?
RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, just to add on to what Jim had talked about soft targets, I mean, we cannot harden every single soft target in this country.
But Jim is right. As far as bike trails go, there are ways to somewhat harden those. And unfortunately every time we have one of these incidences, we look at, OK, how do we harden this particular area? How do we harden that particular area?
You know, just a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about Vegas and how to harden these venues where there is a large gathering of people. Now, this is just another area where there is a large gathering of people. Luckily, this happened at 3:20 to 3:30 in the afternoon. Granted, there are a lot of people on the bike trail, but, luckily, it wasn't at 6:00 or 6:30 at night, when the parade was supposed to kick off, when you have got thousands of family members out there trick or treating with their children. TAPPER: CNN's Alison Kosik in New York City for us. She joins us
Alison, what are you learning?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I did talk with one witness, Jake, who said that he did see a pickup truck on the bike path, and a pickup truck that slammed into at least two men who he saw on the ground.
He also saw then the pickup truck slam into a school bus. He said that the bus didn't seem like it was full at the time, but he said his first thought was, you know, he was so scared for the kids and, of course, concerns about the men who were on the ground.
He also said at some point during the chaos, he heard at least nine or 10 gunshots -- Jake.
TAPPER: Alison, just to clear it up for us, and you might not have the answer, was anybody in the school bus? Was it a school bus with children in there?
KOSIK: He said there were some in there, but it was not a full school bus. But he couldn't tell exactly how many were on the bus.
Interestingly enough, around the radius that has been cordoned off by the crime scene tape, there are a lot of schools, at least two elementary schools. There is a community college. There's a middle school as well. All of these schools are under lockdown.
Parents are literally standing outside the windows of at least one of these elementary schools and talking with their kids. These parents tell me that they got e-mails around 3:00 that the schools were under lockdown because of the shooting -- Jake.
TAPPER: Do we know if any of the kids were hurt?
KOSIK: Well, no, the ones that are in the school, no, they're under lockdown.
TAPPER: No, I mean, the ones in the school bus.
KOSIK: I don't know about the condition of the children inside the school bus. I don't know how many people were actually on that school bus. It was one of the smaller school buses. It wasn't one of the real large ones. But it was a smaller school bus.
TAPPER: Did the witness -- I'm sorry to put you on the spot, but did the witness say anything about whether the driver purposely drove into this school bus?
KOSIK: Yes. Yes, he says that the pickup truck driver did purposely drive into the school bus, Jake. TAPPER: Another gruesome detail. Alison Kosik, thank you so much.
Brynn Gingras has a witness. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's when I got interested, and I turned around to go see what happened.
And at that point, I saw a man laying on the ground who appeared to have been shot, and right next to him, there was another man who was being arrested. He wasn't putting up a fight.
He was on his knees, had his hands on his head, and right next to him was the white pickup truck. It had Home Depot logos on it. The front was entirely smashed in and it had smoke coming out of it.
At that time is when another police officer yelled that there was another suspect who had run into the park and they began to chase after him. The rest of the police officers that were there, knowing that there was an active shooter, gathered everybody up and made us go across the street so we wouldn't be involved or couldn't get hurt. So that's everything that I was able to see.
QUESTION: What was it like on the street, on the West Side Highway, as this was all unfolding?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot of panic. Everyone was on their phones, you know, just scared, trying to call people and tell them what happened.
There was a lot of chaos, but everyone seems, like, OK. Everyone -- a lot of people were worried because they were right by the school. There were a lot of kids around, but it seems like everything hopefully is doing all right, right now.
QUESTION: Was there any sort of warning? Take me up to what led to all the chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It happened out of nowhere. I was walking down the street. It was a normal day and just out of nowhere I hear -- see people -- I see people running and screaming, and then just multiple gunshots, one after another.
I mean, it was just completely unexpected.
QUESTION: How quickly did the police come on the scene?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police were already there when I got there.
QUESTION: Did you happen to see a school bus involved?
QUESTION: How are you holding up after all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing all right. I'm just -- I'm happy that there weren't more casualties than there are. Just the safety of everyone else is my concern.
QUESTION: You mentioned a school. Did you see a school bus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I only saw one man who was laying on the ground who appeared to be injured.
QUESTION: Did you see the truck actually drive up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I saw the truck after it was in the accident. I saw smoke coming out of it, but I didn't see the actual collision. I heard it was with a bus, but I didn't see the actual bus.
QUESTION: What kind of bus, a school bus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure. I just heard a bus.
QUESTION: Did the man looked like he was armed? Did he have any sort of weapon on him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man who was being arrested was not putting up any fight. I heard that the man who did the shooting got out of the car with two guns in his hand, but that's also just something I heard. I didn't see it.
QUESTION: What did he look like? Old, young, tall, short?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one man -- the man I saw looked about 30, a larger man. But I didn't get a great view of him. And then the other man that ran, I never saw at all.
QUESTION: When you say not putting up a fight, did he look like he was injured?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he was just on his knees. He had his hands behind his back. And it seemed like a normal arrest.
QUESTION: Did he seem calm? Or what was his demeanor like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His face was away from me, so I just saw the back of his head, but he didn't seem like he was putting up a fight. He was just, you know, on his knees getting arrested.
QUESTION: Did you happen to see the West Side Highway after the fact? Did you see people, how they looked?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there were police going on the highway. Traffic was completely stopped. I mean, it was a mess for at least an hour, the roads, but that's the least of anybody's concern.
QUESTION: As far as injuries, though.
QUESTION: Take us from your perspective.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was walking down the West Side Highway.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's in front of Stuyvesant School, which is on
the West Side Highway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roughly 3:30 or so. It's a tough question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
QUESTION: And so what did you see first?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing I noticed was the man who was laying on the ground surrounded by police officers.
And then immediately after that -- he was right next to the other man who was being arrested. And then after that, I noticed the car that was clearly destroyed. Yes, the Home Depot truck.
QUESTION: The person who was hurt, how did they get treated? Did an ambulance come for them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I saw an ambulance rolling up. We had to leave before he was put into the ambulance. So, I wasn't able to see whether he was dead, alive, anything like that.
But he was -- when I saw him, he was laying face down on the street, clearly looking severely injured.
QUESTION: Did anybody try and help him? (OFF-MIKE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, there was police on the scene already. I'm sure if samaritans tried to, they would have been just told to go back.
QUESTION: How about the people that were injured?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I was extremely thankful for the women that -- and children that were running towards me, because, if they weren't there, I most likely -- the time it took me to get there, I would have been right at the shooting when it took place.
QUESTION: And how about the people injured on the...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, definitely chaos. There was -- a lot of people seemed very scared. But, I mean, everyone also that I saw was just thankful that they weren't right there.
QUESTION: Did you see a lot of kids around?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it was right when school was getting out. There were lots of kids, yes.
QUESTION: Did you see a lot of people running toward the people who -- we have heard fatalities on the West Side Highway, casualties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't see too many people going towards it. A lot of people were just walking past it, just had places to go. That's how New York can be sometimes.
QUESTION: The man on the ground who was not the perpetrator, the man on the ground who was not the perpetrator, was he injured? And if he was injured, how do you think he got injured? Was he shot? Was he hit by a vehicle?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he was laying face-down on the ground.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, if it's OK with you, we're going to actually go to another witness who saw all of this unfold.
Sir, what is your name? And can you tell me...
EUGENE DUFFY, WITNESS: Eugene Duffy.
GINGRAS: Eugene, tell me, where were you when all this happened?
DUFFY: I was coming out of work. I work on Pier 26.
And I was walking down towards the World Trade Center when I'm on West Street walking, and I'm getting ready to cross the street because the light was taking a long time. And I said to myself, wow, this light's taking a long time. All the cars are flying by.
So, when the light finally changed, I get to the middle of the street, I hear a commotion, and there was a girl screaming the top of their lungs. And I'm like, it's Halloween, maybe somebody's spooked. But I say, you can't be spooked like that to be screaming the way they're screaming.
So when I go back to the sidewalk, I look down and I see a white pickup truck like a couple of more blocks down in the bike path. So, automatically, I know something's wrong. And then as I go down more to towards where the girl is screaming, I see two gentlemen laying there, and they have tire track marks across their body.
One guy -- you know, you could tell they both weren't here. So while I'm -- I'm looking to see if anybody else was injured or, you know, maybe somebody needs help. For some reason, I went back that way. I don't know why.
I kept walking down, and when I heard more people screaming and running across the bridge over here, I started hearing gunshots, nine to 10 gunshots. And I had only seen two cops. And they were ducked down like hiding trying to get out of the way. So I'm assuming that the guy that was driving crazy got out and started shooting. That's the only thing I could think of.
GINGRAS: So, you actually saw the truck coming down the wrong way on the bike path and actually hitting people?
DUFFY: I didn't see them actually hit the people. I seen the... GINGRAS: Just heard the screams.
DUFFY: Yes, I heard the girl screaming. She must have seen it, like me and you standing this close together, to make her scream that way.
GINGRAS: And did you see when the truck actually came to a stop?
DUFFY: No, I didn't see when it stopped.
But when I went down more, I seen a yellow school bus in the middle of Chambers. The whole front -- the whole middle was smashed in. And then the pickup truck hit another car, and that's when he stopped and then when he got out, I guess, was shooting.
GINGRAS: Can you describe that moment? That is obviously preliminary information. We're not sure if he was shooting.
But can you describe that moment when the truck actually stopped after going the wrong way on the West Side Highway?
DUFFY: You hear it. Once all the screaming stopped, you hear the gunshots. I heard nine to 10 gunshots.
And that's when I was -- you know, I was ducking out of the way because I don't know what's going on. And then you see all the police, all the undercover cops, all the ESU, all of them running this way because they don't know even what's going on. All they know is shots are fired.
They didn't know the bodies were there. I was like, look, these guys, these bodies are here. And they were like, what happened, what happened? I said a guy was driving down the bike lane running people over.
GINGRAS: And what happened after those shots were fired? You see that man out of the car. What did you see then next?
DUFFY: I see all the police ran that way. All the police were there already and all the screaming and yelling and running stopped.
So, and I -- so, I was allowed to walk more down West Street. When I got there, I seen the bus crash. I seen the pickup truck was crashed into another car. What was happening in the middle? I didn't see, well, the commotion in the middle there.
GINGRAS: So, you didn't get a glimpse of his demeanor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I didn't see his face. I didn't any nothing of him.
GINGRAS: What are you thinking knowing what's happened all around the world seeing that truck go the wrong way?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought automatically this area that it was terrorists. You know, it's 3:00 in the afternoon. It's a nice day. People are in the park and somebody driving on the sidewalk. I mean, I guess with everything going wrong -- going on in the world, everybody automatically thinks of a terrorist attack. I'm not sure what's going on. I still don't know what happened. I've just been talking to reporters since it all happened.
GINGRAS: And as far as the people that you saw, commotion I imagine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've got to be feeling worse than I do. I mean, they must actually saw the people get hit and die.
GINGRAS: Thank you so much. You're giving us a glimpse into what happened here. Jake, you can see behind me, we are several blocks actually now from the West Side Highway where this all unfolded. Police have kept that area clear and it's a huge commotion in this busy part of the city. As everyone like this gentleman is trying to figure out what unfolded, people piecing together an event, series of events that went several blocks. Certainly we're going to try to get you more information, but, of course, Jake, as we've been telling you, we've confirmed that there are multiple fatalities on the West Side Highway and we're expecting an updated briefing in about 30 minutes or so from the NYPD about what happened here, Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Brynn Gingras bringing us eyewitness accounts from Lower Manhattan. I have here with me in studio is a former Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, Retired General James Clapper. But General, before I get to you, Shimon Prokupecz has some breaking news that might bear on your take on this horrific incident.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right, Jake. So what we're told --I'm told by three sources now that the NYPD and the FBI are investigating this as a terrorism incident. Our understanding is that according to witnesses who police have now talked to, they're saying -- they're telling police that they heard the driver saying, yelling Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, during this incident which is now leading authorities to believe that this is as a result that this is now a terrorism case and I'm just getting an update now that the FBI is taking over this case because it appears now that this is terrorism.
TAPPER: The Arabic chant Allahu Akbar, God is great sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances and too often we hear it being said in moments like this. General Clapper, when you were Director of National Intelligence, you had afternoons like the one that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is having right now. What goes through your mind and what are the actions that you're ordering the intelligence agencies to take?
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, one incident that very (INAUDIBLE) to me that comes to mind was the Boston Marathon Attack. And of course, the first reports as we've seen here very graphically always some confusion and inconsistency. One key thing, I think, though, will happen is whether this person was on anyone's radar scope, either the FBI and/or NYPD. And then, of course, the question is, well, how intrusive should law enforcement and/or intelligence be? And whenever we have these incidents, the critique -- the critique normally is we should have been more intrusive. There should have been more surveillance. And this is exactly what happened after the Boston Marathon. Of course, regrettably this method of operation now, a simple thing like a truck which can be turned into a terrorist weapon, and once again, it appears that we're seeing an example of that.
TAPPER: And we're looking right now. The yellow on your screen, this is a map of Lower Manhattan. There is Houston Street up toward the top of your screen and the West Side Highway is on -- is on the left -- the west part of the island. The entry has occurred on this bike path, on this stretch, this long stretch. And General Clapper, trying to mow down people -- cyclists and runners and then according to at least one witness who spoke with Alison Kosik, deliberately trying to ram into and succeeding in ramming into a school bus. You can't -- I can't think of anything more horrific.
CLAPPER: It's hard to comprehend, it always has been for me, what moves a human being to do that to other human beings. It's beyond comprehension to me and how people become persuaded to do that.
TAPPER: And I know it leaves a lot of people tasked with keeping us safe at a loss and also trying to figure out -- you talked about should there be more surveillance, should the law enforcement be more intrusive or not? I'm sure in the coming days we'll find out ways in which this person may or may not have been on the radar of law enforcement or perhaps not. Perhaps he was self-motivated and nobody had any idea. We don't know at this point. What would intelligence agencies be doing right now?
[16:50:07] CLAPPER: Well if they have the identity of him, obviously this would lead, I think, to a search of his residence, any media he had. Was he in contact with terrorists that were invoking him to take some action? So they'll spread the tentacles out, the information tentacles to learn all we can about this person, and, of course, was he part of a cell or not or was he acting alone?
TAPPER: Yes. And then, of course, the other fact is we know -- we've heard that six people were killed in this horrific incident. It looks like a terrorist attack. But he was not. He has been taken alive. Police shot at him. They hit his leg and then apparently, according to some of the witnesses we heard, he did surrender. That could be important, but hold on one second, General, because I do -- Shimon, you have some news?
PROKUPECZ: Well, we're just -- this is -- the news basically is that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking over as lead of the investigation. So they will work with the NYPD. You know, this will be a joint investigation by the NYPD and with the FBI, you know -- it's important to note that the NYPD has put all sorts of safety measures in place along that West Side Highway in anticipation of something like this happening. So they're going to have to go back and figure out exactly how this happened down the line but it's -- this is -- this will be something that they have trained for and obviously something that they have put protection in place to prevent something happening here. But the lead here now obviously is that the FBI has taken this over because there is evidence that this was a terrorist act.
TAPPER: General Clapper, what is the significance for law enforcement, for investigators, for intelligence that the driver of this truck has been taken alive?
CLAPPER: Well, this is quite significant, I think, because for once maybe you'll get some insight into what exactly motivated him. It will also be interesting to see whether or not ISIS makes a claim of responsibility for this which is very convenient for them to do when the perpetrator is dead. In this case, maybe we'll gain some information and insight into what led to this.
TAPPER: Hold right there. I want to bring back Brynn Gingras who has another witness. Brynn, can you hear me? If the witness is still there, we'd love -- we'd love to hear from him.
GINGRAS: Yes, we do have that witness right here, Jake. Kabir, you said you were right in the area of when this all ended, when this crash happened. Tell me exactly what you saw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So I just got out from the BNCC main building. So I saw a truck is hit by something. So I thought it was an accident on West Street. So I just went there to see what happened. Then I saw a guy with two guns. He's just running in the middle of the street, on the intersection of West Street and Chambers street. So I went on the --I thought he was just for Halloween or something. I didn't pay attention. So I went to the other bridge (INAUDIBLE) to get it from the top. So there's the students, three or four students that told me the guy is a shooter and cops are on him. So the guy was still on the middle of the street. He was just running around.
GINGRAS: He was running around with guns out, that you thought were guns?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, two guns on his hand. And then I was just recording him -- what happened. So that time I heard five, six gunshots and I was -- I didn't see what happened because I was scared. So I was just laying down. And the girls, they were just shouting like did you see the cops just shot him -- the cops just shot him. And then I shot again the video like he was on the ground and the cops just got him.
GINGRAS: And what did he -- did he say anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't hear anything he said because I was in the -- and the bridge like (INAUDIBLE) so you can't hear everything what's happening outside. But I didn't see him saying anything. He was just running around randomly.
GINGRAS: When you say randomly, was he manic? Did he seem calm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He -- like, he was scared, too. I think he was scared but he was running like there's no direction. He was just running here, and here, and here and there was this other guy who was just chasing him. He was just a civilian I guess because he had no cop uniform or anything.
GINGRAS: All right, thank you so much for your account. We appreciate that. And Jake, he's actually working to send me that video right now so we can get a look at what he saw from his camera lens. But we'll go back to you right now.
TAPPER: All right, Brynn Gingras in Lower Manhattan bringing us another witness testimony of this incident. I want to pop back in with Jason Carroll who's also in New York. Jason, you have some new reporting. What do you have?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Jake, I just want to clear up a little bit of information for you. A spokesperson for Home Depot has confirmed to CNN that in fact one of their rental cars was used in this particular incident. We've seen it there on tape. We've seen some of it. They said their rental truck was used as part of this incident in Lower Manhattan and at this point are cooperating with authorities. Just to recap just a little bit here, as you know it was earlier when the vehicle entered the west side pedestrian-bike path. It's a very popular bike path running north/south along there -- along Manhattan. I run that path all the time, every other day. I know exactly where this is. He entered the bike path just a few blocks north of Chambers Street. The vehicle then continued down south striking another vehicle.
The suspect then apparently exited his vehicle displaying some sort of fake firearm. That -- at that point he was then shot by the NYPD. As you've heard from our reporting there from Shimon and from some others that the suspect is in custody apparently yelling Allahu Akbar at a certain point when he got out. Joint Terrorism Task Force is on the scene. I know, Jake, you'd also raised the question a little earlier when talking to my colleague Alison Kosik about some of those who were in the school bus that was apparently involved when there was some sort of a car accident down there at a certain point. We are hearing that four members of the school bus were removed, that they have minor injuries, but, unfortunately, we are also hearing as that truck drove down the West Side Highway, there were six -- at least six fatalities. Jake?
[16:56:21] TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, Jason Carroll. General Clapper, I wonder -- we've talked before about how people like you when you were Director of National Intelligence, you have to be right 100 percent of the time. And not just you, but everyone that serves under you, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, everybody in the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the NYPD, et cetera. Why is it do you think that there are more incidents like this in Europe than there are in the United States? This is a horrific incident, I don't want to belittle it, but why is it that we haven't seen more of this?
CLAPPER: Well, I do think many of the things that we've instituted since 9/11 do have -- have had an impact. And I would complement the NYPD, which is -- has fantastic insight and understanding of, you know, these potential threats. But it's never ironclad. You just can't guarantee that. And you know, one is too many. And we shouldn't take too much stock in the fact that we have less of it in this country than we do in Europe.
TAPPER: No, but I just -- I do note that I mean, this has been going on now for several years in Europe and I guess it was only a matter of time, James Gagliano formerly of the FBI said, I guess it was only a matter of time that this technique, presuming that this is a terrorist attack, one carried out by a radical Islamic terrorist based on the eyewitness accounts and NYPD is hearing of somebody yelling Allahu Akbar after the incident. It was only a matter of time that we would start to see the incidents that happened in Germany, in Nice, et cetera, where terrorists grabbed a vehicle and just used that as a weapon.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Also in London, Jake and to the General's point, I mean, look at the symmetry between what just occurred here in New York in Lower Manhattan and what happened on the London Bridge. In that instance, the folks that perpetrated that were wearing fake explosive vests. In this instance, the reporting that we just got stated that the subject jumped out of the vehicle with a fake handgun. So we know in these instances the perpetrators of these attacks, they're not looking to negotiate. They're not looking to take time and talk to police and try to work something out. They're looking to either kill themselves or be killed by a police officer. And I know it's too early to say that, but, Jake, I've just got to bookend it this way, if this turns out to be a terrorism attack, and that's what the FBI is treating it as right now, this will be the first successful one that involved casualties in New York City since September 11th of 2001.
TAPPER: Although there certainly have been attempts prior, the Times Square bomber, for example. Art Roderick, what's your final thought on this?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think -- I think you know, we talk about the Joint Terrorism Task Force, for people that don't know that out there. This is a task force made up of multiple state, local and federal agencies. But it's not just in Manhattan or New York, they're all around the country in every state, in every district around the country. And I can tell you that the minute something like this happens, communiques go out, e-mails go out to all of the Joint Terrorism Task Forces all around the country with as much information they can put out initially which puts everyone else on alert to look for these types of incidents in other part of the U.S. And I think that's a benefit that we have that Europeans don't have.
TAPPER: And General Clapper, I know law enforcement right now concerned not only about figuring out who this individual is, trying to figure out how many people were killed or wounded by it, but also making sure that there are aren't copycats and also making sure there isn't another attack coming because often we see in Pakistan and in Israel, there's an attack and then as police and ambulances has come, then terrorists stage another attack.