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Serial Gunman on the Loose in Phoenix?; Train Explosions Rock India; Train Derails in Chicago

Aired July 11, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, Americans on edge, as major cities put their transit systems on alert, and a string of deadly train bombings in India have all the hall -- hallmarks of an al Qaeda attack.


ANNOUNCER: Clockwork terror -- minute by minute, bomb after bomb. Who's behind it? Who's next?

Hometown terror -- not 13 random shootings. Now it's 38, as fear grows in Phoenix of a serial gunman on the loose.

Grim new word on Iraq.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: I still don't see a strategy for victory in Iraq.

ANNOUNCER: And he's not the only one -- new evidence that there's no good plan to pay for the war or win it.

Plus, a man hurt, his wife killed...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very disgusted with what's going on with that tunnel.

ANNOUNCER: ... crushed in a tunnel that you paid $14 billion for, nearly brand new, already falling apart.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Tonight, reporting from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening again.

We begin tonight with cities here and around the world on heightened alert. Just about anyplace you find commuters and commuter trains, not to mention subways and buses, you will find extra security. You see it here in New York, in Chicago, in London, all in the wake of today's terror attacks in Mumbai, India, seven bombs, other wire services reporting as many as eight, synchronized, going off one after the next on crowded commuter trains.

The first bomb went off at 6:24 p.m. local time, peak rush hour. The last explosion came just 11 minutes later.

Here's the latest -- and the latest is grim indeed -- 174 people known dead, 464 known injured. According to the Red Cross, however, bodies are still right now being pulled from the wreckage -- so far, no claim of responsibility, but suspicion is falling heavily on a pair of extremist Islamic groups with roots in the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan.

Those same groups have al Qaeda connections and have been implicated in similar bombings in the past. This time, however, the bombers, whoever they are, targeted Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, a city more than twice the population of New York. They hit a train -- a train line that nearly five million people use every day.

One of the passengers, Jency Jacob, is from a CNN affiliate, CNN- IBN. He joins us now by -- by videophone.

Jency, what was it like when the blast went off?


I was on that same train when the first blast (AUDIO GAP) took place between two stations. That is Khar and Santa Cruz. I was standing inside the train. And, suddenly, there was a loud thud. And the train screeched to a halt.

For some time, people did not know what had happened. But, immediately, people collected themselves and just started jumping out of the train and started running helter and skelter.

I also managed (AUDIO GAP) to jump out of the train, and then I saw the first-class mail compartment of the -- of the train was totally torn to pieces. There were bodies lying all around. There was blood all around. People were sitting on the tracks. They had no clue. They were not able to comprehend what had hit them. They -- they just didn't know. They were just reeling under the shock of that explosion. The -- the trains were totally stopped there.

But, within 15 or 20 minutes, we realized that it's not just in that train. About seven locations, seven different train railway stations, these kind of explosions had taken place, putting the entire western railway network of Mumbai on -- on a stop.

COOPER: Jency, about how far apart were the various train stations? What kind of a distance are we talking about?

JACOB: The kind of distance that we're talking about is, it's -- as you know, Mumbai is a linear city. (AUDIO GAP) It's about 30 to 35 kilometers we are talking about.

At different parts of that -- it might be about 15 to 20 minutes from each other these stations are placed. And it was a well- coordinated effort by the terror groups. They knew that this was a rush hour. This was a time when they can make the most impact, and -- and they had chosen only the first-class mail compartments of all the trains.

They knew where to keep these kind of explosives. And that's how they decided to do it. Within five to 10 minutes of -- five or 10 minutes of duration, these explosions went through, and thus impacting the entire train network. We're talking about 20 to 25 kilometers at a stretch. And that's how they managed to put the entire railway system on hold.

COOPER: Jency, appreciate your report. It has been a long day for you -- Jency saying he was on the train when it first went off. A lot of passengers jumped off the train, he included.

A lot of these bombs went off in the first-class passenger compartments of these trains. Seven known coordinated attacks, seven separate bombings, in the space of about an 11-minute time frame, that is what we're talking about.

And it bears mentioning, and it bears repeating, in any disaster of this size and scope, the story evolves pretty much minute by minute. The numbers change. Early reports gives way to new information. So, we're trying to be very careful about what we say and what we ask.

And with that in mind, want to get a better idea of the latest from the scene right now, what the Indian government is saying, what authorities are reporting, and everything else we can.

For that, let's turn to CNN's Seth Doane, also in Mumbai for us tonight.

Seth, what is the scene there now?

SETH DOANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, to give you a sense for the picture here, I'm in front of one of the government-run hospitals who's accepting victims from one of the train explosions.

It's -- it's heart-wrenching to be here, frankly, right now. We're finding, talking with family members who are coming, hoping to find family members in one of these hospitals. I just spoke with one father, who said he's been up all night searching for his son, going from hospital to hospital, hoping to find him. He just found him here in the morgue. He was in tears.

It is -- it's (AUDIO GAP) very sad scene here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Is -- is there any central place for people to go, Seth, to get information? Or is it, literally, they have to go from morgue to morgue, hospital to hospital?

DOANE: That's what we're hearing, Anderson, morgue to morgue, hospital to hospital, and -- and the stories of pleading for help from people, from officials, from doctors, for some answer. Most of these pleas go unanswered. I went into one of the wards that was caring for trauma victims. They said they were seeing a lot of acute deafness, hard of hearing. People were lying, sleeping everywhere on -- on beds. They wouldn't allow our cameras in at that time. But the doctor said she felt, in this hospital at least, she was overwhelmed -- Anderson.

COOPER: Seth, when there have been attacks in this part of India before and elsewhere throughout India, there are also counterattacks -- Hindu nationalists upset, literally rioting, killing Muslims in the street, in some cases, disemboweling women. Thousands have been killed in these -- in these riots after explosions like this.

I know that was a concern of police hours ago. It is now morning there. Have there been any -- any counter-riots, any violence of that sort? And if -- and, if not, is that something police are watching out for now?

DOANE: Anderson, I cannot confirm any riots breaking out around the city.

That was definitely a concern through the evening. That was interesting. This is a resilient, resilient bunch of people, a population here. As soon as we got on the ground, I started seeing text-messages from community leaders, saying on these text messages: Look, go to work. Don't take the day off. Get on the trains. Keep this city running. Show the terrorists, in essence, that this won't affect the pace of the city.

But, still, that was -- that was the fear through the night, that riots could indeed break out. We have not heard any confirmation or any reports of that as of -- as of yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Seth, we will continue to check in with you throughout these two hours. Appreciate that report -- Seth Doane reporting from Mumbai.

It should -- bears just pointing out, Mumbai is perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in all of India. It's the home to the stock exchange, the home to the -- to the Indian movie system, which is -- Bollywood, which is a huge movie industry there. It's also where a lot of multinational corporations have their headquarters. It is the growth -- the engine of growth for the booming Indian economy.

To fully appreciate the scope of what happened today and to whom it happened, let's take a step back now.

CNN's Tom Foreman does that for us tonight.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, these explosions absolutely cut right through the heart of this powerhouse on the western side of India.

This is the financial center. This is the shipping center. This is the center for Holly -- Bollywood, their Hollywood over there, where they make many of their films. And this train line right here ran through a lot of major stations. Look at this. This is where the bombs hit, down in this business sort of area down toward the south, then working north into more business areas, and up into residential areas.

This line is in the center of roughly 20 million people. It's used by anywhere from five million to 10 million people every single day. This station alone, Borivili, was hit by two explosions, which were heard as far as five -- four or five miles away.

A third bomb was found there, and then, on up north, further explosions. Could have been worse, though, despite all of that, because -- look at this -- there are five major bridges, water crossings along this rail route. If any of them had been hit, it would have complicated evacuation. It would have complicated all the rescues.

But, nonetheless, this is the reason there's so much impact from this, because these bombs went off in series right at the evening rush hour in a critical part of the entire nation of India -- Anderson.


COOPER: Tom Foreman, thanks for that.

You know, we have seen it in Madrid two years ago. We saw it in London last year, almost exactly one year ago, homegrown terrorist groups, but with connections, as well, to al Qaeda. The question is, will the same hold true for what happened in Mumbai?

Here to help lay out the likely suspects at this hour, CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, author of the book "The Osama bin Laden I Know."

Peter, good to see you.

Who are the likely groups? No one has claimed credit at this point.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: No one has claimed credit. And we don't know, obviously, who's behind this.

But, I mean, the -- the universal suspects are -- we are seeing on the wires, Indian officials, American officials, people talking to CNN, identify two groups.

One is called Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. It's the largest Kashmiri militant group. This has -- is -- is a group which actually has a very public presence in Pakistan. The kind of non-military side of the group has 2,200 officers around the country. They have a yearly gathering which attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

This is a very large organization. Then there is a much smaller group called Jaish-e-Mohammad, the army of the Prophet Mohammed, a -- a -- which is very much just simply a terrorist group, maybe 200 or 300 members. This is the group that was instrumental in kidnapping and killing journalist Danny Pearl. It has close ties to al Qaeda. And these are the two main suspects that are being basically brooded right now.

COOPER: And -- and what do they want? I mean, is this all linked to -- to Kashmir wanting Kashmir to become independent, Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim region?

BERGEN: They want Kashmir. They want the Indians out of Kashmir, basically. And they -- we have seen in recent months and -- and recent years the beginnings of some agreements between the Indians and the Pakistanis, not -- not necessarily peace over Kashmir, but certainly sort of a -- a bit of a entente cordiale, where there's now flights between India and Pakistan. There are bus trips. There are cricket matches.

These are small things, confidence -- confidence-building measures. And these attacks are designed to basically destroy these first little steps that Pakistan and India were making to have a slightly warmer relationship.

COOPER: There are, I think, about a million Muslims living in Mumbai. And I guess that plays a part in this. People, terrorist groups want, in -- in effect, those Muslims to be attacked by Hindu nationalists in the wake of a bombing like this, because that really just furthers the -- the sectarian differences.

BERGEN: No doubt.

And -- and one of the kind of great unsung stories, I think, you know, if -- one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, of course, is India, with, you know, 120 million Muslims. And they have been -- pretty much, they haven't really caught this al Qaeda ideological virus. We haven't seen the kinds of things that we have seen in Indonesia in recent years or the kinds that we see constantly in Pakistan.

And, you know, this kind of attack, is -- is designed, I think, to create more tension and to perhaps radicalize the Muslim population once they're attacked.

COOPER: So, what about these groups' connections to -- to al Qaeda and -- and Osama bin Laden? What has he said about India?

BERGEN: You know, I don't think -- I don't -- strangely, he hasn't said a huge amount about India.

Certainly, the Kashmiri issue is something that preoccupies the kind of jihadists in Pakistan. And they are quite closely tied in with al Qaeda. But it's not something he's said a lot about. Certainly, the Kashmir -- Kashmir issue is a core grievance, and also a training ground for these militants, and is one of the, I think, central issues.

If we could have some peace in Kashmir, that would be a very important thing for taking some of the steam out of the -- these -- this intense anger that the militants have. COOPER: I -- I must say, seven coordinated bombings -- some people say eight -- one -- a couple wire services reporting eight -- there was one bomb that was defused at another station -- but -- but at least seven bombings in the space of about 11 minutes, that's tricky to pull off.

BERGEN: Yes. This is not, you know, just a bunch of people who got together on the Internet and did this.

It seems to me that these people must have had training, just as we now look at the London bombing attack more and more like an al Qaeda operation -- two of these guys behind the attack training in Pakistan, doing suicide videotapes.

I'm sure that this kind of attack that we saw in -- in -- in Bombay today, and in Mumbai, is not something that was the work of people who didn't have a fairly large infrastructure behind them. If you remember, the Madrid attack, Anderson, there were something like 29 people charged in that attack, maybe even up to 100 people that the Spanish identified.

So, you have to have the training. You have to have the infrastructure to pull something off. This is not a sort of Timothy McVeigh thing.

COOPER: It would be also interesting to see -- I -- I mean, I have talked to some people who say that, in the past, in bombings in India, the group -- whoever is behind them has not claimed credit.

It will be interesting to see -- al Qaeda certainly does seem to claim credit for an awful lot of things -- whether some tape emerges in -- in the next days or weeks which references this attack.

BERGEN: Indeed. I mean, in fact, that's a -- a very good point. I think we can almost expect that.

COOPER: And -- and, yet, it's interesting that -- that these homegrown groups -- or -- or the groups in the past, at least, who have had bombings in India have not claimed credit.

One person just suggested to me, that's because they -- they -- it -- it kind of adds to the fear. The idea that no one really knows who did it, it just sort of makes people even more worried.

BERGEN: Well, certainly, you know, you may recall there was a fairly spectacular attack on the Indian parliament about three or four months after the 9/11 attacks, and they -- a group of militants stormed the building. They killed a lot of people. They didn't really get inside the building.

That was an attack certainly carried out by Kashmiri militant groups. I don't recall any one of those groups, necessarily, taking credit for it, but I think that it's regarded being a sort of Jaish-e- Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, probably, operation, just as this was.

COOPER: Hmm, interesting. Peter Bergen, appreciate your -- your expertise. Thank you.


COOPER: Mumbai has been the target of some of India's worst terrorist attacks in recent years, as Peter mentioned, a lot of them blamed on Islamic militants. Here's the "Raw Data."

March 1993, 13 timed explosions in downtown Mumbai killed nearly 300 people, injured more than 1,000 others. Back in 2003, Mumbai suffered a wave of terrorist attacks. That March, a bomb exploded on a passenger train. Ten people died.

And, in August of 2003, two car bombs hidden in taxis killed 52 people and injured 175.

We're going to have a lot more from Mumbai in a moment.

And, later, a different kind of terror on the tracks unfolding tonight, as we speak, right now in Chicago -- we're hearing, more than 150 subway riders have been taken to local hospitals. We have a reporter on the scene. We will have the latest.

Also, fear in Phoenix -- police now believing one gunman may be responsible for 38 shootings. We will bring you an update on the manhunt for him.

And Boston's Big Dig, it -- now it is deadly, the most expensive highway project in this country, nearly $15 billion, your dollars, well, it has fallen apart. And, tonight, a woman is dead because of it. We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- ahead tonight on 360.


COOPER: Those just some of the images we saw today out of India.

We have been closely following the major story of the day, the terror attack in India's financial capital of Mumbai -- at least seven explosions ripping through commuter trains and station platforms, at least 174 people dead, at least 464 injured right now, and more bodies being pulled out as we speak -- certainly a lot more to cover.

Earlier today, I spoke by phone with Alex Perry, "TIME" magazine's South Asia bureau chief.


COOPER: There have been other attacks in -- in this city over the years, haven't there?


There was -- in 2003, there was a -- a series of bomb blasts, nine, in fact, over nine months, that killed 60 people or so, in total. And, then, in '93, there was an attack, again, a series of bomb blasts, 13 that time, that killed 257. COOPER: Also, in those attacks, I know there was subsequent rioting, people seeking vengeance on -- on -- those they believed were behind the attacks. Is that a concern this time around?

PERRY: It's definitely a concern, yes. The history of sort of Hindu-Muslim tension goes back centuries in India, and through partition, through the occupation of -- of Kashmir, through the Gujarat riots in 2002, when Hindus turned on Muslims there, and there was a -- a virtual pogrom. Over a matter of days, 2,000 Muslims were killed.

And, yes, in '93, in those bombs, again, there were -- there were retaliatory riots in Bombay, and hundreds were killed then. So, India is in a -- in nervous times at the moment. The prime minister has appealed for calm and -- and -- but people are watching and waiting.

COOPER: But, I mean, often, at least over here on -- in -- on these shores, India is often pointed to as an example of Muslims -- you know, of -- of coexisting with other religions, and though there -- you know, there may be sort of sporadic spasms of violence, for the most part, getting along. Is that -- is that accurate, or is that not -- not the reality?

PERRY: No, I mean, the -- the -- you know, India's so big that it can take all shades.

I -- I think it is true to say that the -- the majority of Muslims in India are -- are almost a beacon to the world, in terms of -- of tolerance and modernity and -- and accepting other cultures.

However, you know, within that community, there is a -- there is an extreme element that is confrontational, that is violent, and that really -- you know, you have to see this -- this latest attack as -- as -- as part of what a friend in the security services described to me tonight. This is part of a continuous war.

You know, there's no particular trigger for this today. This is -- you know, he -- he said to me, look, they -- you know, they get the explosives together. They get the people together, and they just do it. There's no -- there's no -- you know, one particular reason. This is -- this is a war that goes for generations.

COOPER: Are people scared now?


Bombay has an incredible capacity to -- to -- to pick itself up and get on with life. It's the financial, the business center, but, more than that, it's the entrepreneurial center of India. It's where everybody goes to -- to -- to get ahead.

But there's no doubt that this -- what -- what it really does is -- is -- is push people back into their communities. It -- it -- it strengthens the divide between Muslims and Hindus.

You know, people will be wary. Muslims certainly will be wary stepping outside their areas. Hindus will be wary of their -- their Muslim colleagues at work and so on. You know, it puts concrete in that divide.

COOPER: And that, of course, is part of the objective of -- of any form of terrorism anywhere. Alex Perry, appreciate you joining us on -- on what's been a very busy day for you.

Thank you, Alex.

PERRY: Sure.

COOPER: Well, trouble on a train here in America. A derailment sparks a fire on a Chicago subway. Commuters were evacuated. More than 150 people have now been taken to a hospital. It is a still- developing story. And we will bring you the latest just ahead.

Also tonight: fear in Phoenix -- two killers on the loose. One is a serial rapist, the other a gunman who shoots people at random. We will take you on the police hunt -- coming up next.


COOPER: Well, a developing story out of Chicago -- a major subway derailment, fire, smoke, and more than 150 people injured.

We will take you there live -- next on 360.


COOPER: A developing story tonight out of Chicago -- dozens of commuters have been evacuated, following a subway train derailment and fire. At least 152 people have been taken to the hospital. Part of the subway line has been shut down.

Joining me now from Chicago with the latest, CNN's Jonathan Freed.

Jonathan, what's happening?

JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this happened at just after 5:00 Central time here in Chicago.

There were about 1,000 people on a subway train. It was leaving downtown Chicago, which is where we are here, heading out to the northwest, if you know the city, towards O'Hare. The train hadn't gotten very far, just past the river here, which is about a block from where we're standing right now, when the operator was told that there were reports of smoke on the train.

So, he stopped the train, started moving back. And the last car of this eight-car train -- and again, there were about 1,000 people in total on this train -- derailed. Both the front and the rear wheels had derailed. And people had to move in the darkness, in the smoke that was filling up in the tunnel, about 300 yards to an emergency exit, which is just behind me over there, about half-a-block away. And the scene when we got here, there were ambulances all over the place, people on stretchers, some sitting up, some lying down, plenty of people being given oxygen. We're told that 150 people -- more than that -- have been treated and transported to hospital.

Now, the sequence, Anderson, that we have is that this was derailment, spark, fire, and smoke. And one witness that I spoke to who was on the train -- and this was, say, the better part of an hour we were able to talk to him after the incident happened -- he was covered in soot. And he was still coughing a little bit, even an hour later.

Had a chance to look into his eyes, as he told me about the fear that he and the other people experienced, because they were aware of what had happened today in India. And they were concerned that perhaps this was some kind of a -- a terrorist attack here. They didn't know what was going on.

I asked him how long -- how long it took for the car to fill up with smoke. He said just seconds. He -- he observed what he described as an electrical flash, and then he said he saw white smoke, followed by gray smoke, followed by black smoke, and it just consumed them, and they just had to get out of there -- Anderson.

COOPER: Appreciate the report. Thanks very much.

In a moment: How much is the war in Iraq really costing you in tax dollars? New numbers on that coming up.

First, Erica Hill from Headline News has some of the other stories we're following -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, columnist Robert Novak today confirmed that White House adviser Karl Rove and CIA spokesman Bill Harlow were two of his sources for the column he wrote three years ago revealing the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

In his column, he also wrote that Rove confirmed information from another source, whose identity he's still keeping under wraps. Novak said prosecutors have told him his role in the investigation into the leaking of Plame's name is now over.

A bloody day in Iraq -- in Baghdad, a series of bombings near the heavily fortified Green Zone killed up to 16 people this morning. At least 20 other people died in four separate attacks across Baghdad. In one incident, gunmen stormed a bus carrying a coffin, and killed all 10 people on board.

The Bush administration said today all detainees in U.S. military custody, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are entitled to the protections under the Geneva Conventions. The White House said the policy outlined in a new Defense Department memo reflects the recent 5-3 Supreme Court decision blocking military tribunals set up by President Bush. And, finally, the truth about lying -- according to a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, we're a bit conflicted. More than half of those polled said lying was never justified, never. Yet, in the same poll, nearly two-thirds said it was OK to lie in certain situations, like protecting someone's feelings. About a third said it was OK to sometimes lie about being sick to take a day off of work. Something I know, Anderson Cooper, you would never do.

COOPER: Never, ever, ever. I think everyone was just lying taking that poll.

HILL: They just may have been.

COOPER: That's why it's so conflicting. They're just lying. Erica, thanks.

HILL: See you later.

COOPER: Well, coming up, candid respective assessments of where we stand in the war in Iraq. Today the Government Accountability Office faulted the Bush administration for mismanagement. This even as President Bush appointee -- as a Bush appointee says a new force has emerged as our greatest enemy in Iraq. A reality check, what's really going on, coming up.

Plus the rising fear factor in Phoenix, Arizona. We're talking about rapes and murders. At least one serial shooter at large. A look at one of the suspects when 360 continues.


COOPER: The war in Iraq. Three years, four months. It has taken the lives of more than 2,500 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. It is costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. And still, America's plan for victory remains half baked.

That essentially is the bottom line today from the General Accountability Office, the General Accounting Office. The report comes as America's ambassador to Iraq says the U.S. faces a major challenge there.

CNN's senior national correspondent, John Roberts, takes a look.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First it was attacks by foreign terrorists like Zarqawi. Then it was the menace from Sunni insurgents. But the greatest threat to Iraq's stability has evolved yet again. It's now one religious group against another, said the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

ZALMAY KHALILZAD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Violent sectarianism is knew the main challenge. This sectarianism is the source of frequent tragedies on the streets of Baghdad.

ROBERTS: In just the past few days alone, scores of Iraqis have died in brutal attacks in Baghdad. Shiite militias target innocent Sunni civilians. Sunni militias stage revenge attacks.

Khalilzad says it's crucial for the Iraqi government to get a handle on the violence in the next six months. But Senator Joe Biden, just returned from Iraq, sees no hope of that.

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: But you've got to do something about these militia. And so far I see no -- no real strategy.

ROBERTS: And it's not just the plan to deal with militias and sectarian violence drawing fire. In Congress today the non-partisan Government Accountability Office delivered a sharp rebuke to the White House, concluding that while its 2005 national strategy for victory in Iraq is an improvement over the original post-war plan, it still lacks all the key characteristics of an effective national strategy.

The GAO was particularly critical about the price tag of the war in Iraq, stating "the strategy neither identifies the current and future costs of U.S. involvement in Iraq."

That cost, by the way, through 2007 is $374 billion, including some funding for Afghanistan. It all made an incendiary election year issue even hotter.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Wake up, America. This administration's lied to the people. They're selling this lie all over, and they're selling it here again to this committee. Balderdash.

ROBERTS: Some Republicans thought the report far too negative, even suggested GAO chief David Walker, a Clinton-era appointee, might have had an agenda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope this is not an indication of a political vendetta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not, Mr. Burton. I straight -- I call it as I see it.

ROBERTS: The White House insists it is making progress in Iraq, in its daily Iraq message claiming the president's strategy for Iraq is working. That talking point found its voice with House Republicans. Chris Shays is a frequent visitor to Iraq.

REP. CHRIS SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: After digging ourselves into a deep hole during the first year, we have made significant progress.

ROBERTS (on camera): But Iraq appears to be standing on yet another knife edge. Ambassador Khalilzad suggested that the only thing standing between Iraqis and full-blown civil war is U.S. Troops and that if the U.S. were to pull out, the entire region could come completely unglued.

John Roberts, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: President Bush received better news today regarding the federal deficit. A revised forecast reduces this year's tide of red ink by $127 billion.

Now, supporters claim it's vindication for Mr. Bush's tax-cutting policies. Critics say they've got to be kidding. They say that the overspending remains one of the biggest threats to America's future.

CNN's White House correspondent Ed Henry investigates.


ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president's tone was "I told you so," reminding Democrats he predicted cutting taxes would spark economic growth and end up slashing the deficit.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, some in Washington said we had to choose between cutting taxes and cutting the deficit. Today's numbers show that that was a false choice. The economic growth fueled by tax relief has helped send our tax revenues soaring.

HENRY: But the president's celebration reminded some budget experts of another moment in his presidency, when the champagne may have been popped a little early.

STAN COLLENDER, BUDGET EXPERT, CORVIS COMMUNICATIONS: This was the budget equivalent of the president landing on an aircraft carrier and declaring mission accomplished. They're taking a lot of good news short-term without really thinking in the long term.

HENRY: It's still the fourth largest deficit in American history: $296 billion this year, forcing the president to get a little creative.

BUSH: And we're cutting the federal deficit faster than we expected.

HENRY: That's only because the administration itself had set expectations by projecting the annual deficit would be $423 billion.

And what the president didn't mention is the overall national debt has soared by $3 trillion since he took office, a sharp reversal from the Clinton years that Democrats are eagerly pointing out.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: We brought down the national debt by about a half a trillion dollars. So please, let's not boast about a $300 billion deficit.

HENRY: What neither party wants to talk about is that a collective failure to rein in federal spending has left the nation with a bleak long-term outlook.

COLLENDER: There's a fiscal train wreck about 15 years from now. That is, as Social Security starts to run a deficit as opposed to this current surplus it has and as Baby Boomers retire and the costs of Medicare get much, much bigger.

HENRY (on camera): The president did try to tackle Social Security reform but hit a brick wall of opposition, mostly from Democrats but also from some Republicans. He's not likely to stake any more political capital in the battle, meaning the problem will be kicked to another administration and another Congress.

Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.


COOPER: Part of a massive tunnel system that was paid for with your tax dollars has now fallen apart, and a woman has lost her life because of it, raising safety questions about the more than $14 billion project. Tonight we're keeping them honest.

And he's known as the Baseline Rapist. He not only attacks his victims, he murders them. And for the people of Phoenix, the fear is double tonight as another madman stalks the city. We'll have the latest on the manhunts when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, tonight a city is living in fear from not one but two psychopaths. It is a story we first brought you last night. In Phoenix a serial killer and a serial gunman are on the loose. And until they're caught nobody is safe.

CNN's Rick Sanchez now has the latest.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's what happened here at this car wash and here at this back alley and here at this bus stop that has so many Phoenix residents on edge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's scary. They're right around where I work. So it's unbelievable to me. Every time I walk around the garage I'm looking over my shoulders.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Residents in Phoenix are scared because there's a man in their midst who's both a serial killer and a rapist. Police say he's attacked 19 times since last summer. Five of his victims were murdered. Police aren't saying how many were raped.

SGT. ANDY HILL, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT: What he's actually done is presented himself in such a way that he was non-threatening at first or in such a way that people just kind of hold off for a moment. They don't feel threatened at that moment.

SANCHEZ: So that's his M.O.? He comes up almost nonchalantly?

HILL: In most cases.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Sergeant Andy hill has been after the so- called Baseline Rapist since last summer. This is what he says the rapist looks like. It's an artist's rendering. The hair may be a wig, a disguise to throw off police.

There's always this grainy black and white, taken at one of the many crime scenes. Sergeant Hill took us to the site of the first killing.

(on camera) This is the last place she was seen?

HILL: Right.

SANCHEZ: So for all we know he could have come up just picked her up and said, "Hey, do you need a ride?"

HILL: Don't know. He could have been hanging around a little bit. He might have been just talking to her. We don't know. But at some point he felt that, again, he had the opportunity to go ahead and abduct her, which he did.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Eight miles away in a back alley Sergeant Hill explains to us how a husband and wife were murdered.

(on camera) Over here he killed Mr. Chou?

HILL: That's correct. This is where his body was found.

SANCHEZ: Right in that area right over there?

HILL: That's correct.

SANCHEZ: But then he took her in the car and drove away?

HILL: Right. To another location, where she was found murdered in that vehicle.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): And his most recent killing.

HILL: She was in the midst of her business at the car wash and, however he started, we know that this suspect somehow begins to have some kind of contact. He then decided at what point he was going to do it, but he pulled a brazen attack and just rushed her and took her.

SANCHEZ: A serial rapist/killer on the loose is bad enough for one city. But it gets even worse. Phoenix is coping with two other crime sprees.

Two months ago someone started shooting people at random as they walked or rode their bicycles. Thirteen people so far, including this man, who's too scared to show his face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden I heard a loud blast, and I realized I got hit with something.

SANCHEZ: Then there's another series of shootings that began more than a year ago: 25 people shot, four killed. Could both shooting sprees be the work of the same person? Police now concede they may be.

COMMANDER BILL LOUIS, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT: And we are now of the opinion that this is one series that began in May of 2005.

SANCHEZ: With temperatures hovering at 115 degrees in Phoenix, the real heat is squarely on police to solve simultaneous crime sprees that may be the worst in the city's history.


COOPER: Rick, how big a story is this? I mean, are people openly frightened or just sort of trying to take it in stride?

SANCHEZ: Now more than ever they're very much concerned. You hear them talking about it. But even more than what they're saying, Anderson, it's what they're demonstrating.

Just in the last hour we've been in an area that's usually a pretty popular part of town, a place where you'd usually see some people on the sidewalks or on the streets. We've seen very few people out alone and zero women in the last hour that we've been here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Rick Sanchez reporting. Appreciate it, Rick, thank you.

Brand new city tunnel system you paid for has been falling apart. Last night it took the life of a woman, nearly killed her husband. How could this have happened with the Big Dig? We're keeping them honest tonight.

Plus, new worries for people who've seen enough already. Those FEMA trailers which took so long to arrive for so many, well now may be a huge danger if another storm strikes. A lot of people want them removed from their property. They're done with them. They can't get them out. That story and more when 360 continues.


COOPER: It is safe. That is what people in Boston have been told time and time again. The city's new Big Dig tunnel system is safe. Despite construction problems that caused walls to crack and water to leak and chunks of material to fall.

But it was not safe, at least not last night, when a three-ton piece of the tunnel ceiling crashed to the pavement, crushing a woman to death. It is a tragic and maddening story and one that stretches well beyond Boston, since nearly half the money used to pay for the $14.6 billion project came from your taxes.

CNN's Dan Lothian tonight, keeping them honest.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may have only traveled on Montana's back roads, through Iowa's corn fields, or New York's busy streets. But your tax dollars helped pay for Boston's infamous and now deadly tunnel known as the Big Dig.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm very disgusted with what's going on with that tunnel. I just -- I just passed through it the other day, and I don't think I want to go through it again.

LOTHIAN: That follows the death of 38-year-old Melina Delvalle in one of the tunnels Monday night. Three-ton concrete panels of the ceiling came crashing down on her car. Her husband, 46-year-old Angel, who was driving at the time, crawled from their crushed Honda to safety.

Joelz Anakur (ph) was driving by and tried to help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of stuff on top, you know, but I can't do nothing. I was trying to save her, but I was trying to, you know, take her out of there, but it's too dangerous.

LOTHIAN: Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney cut short his vacation in neighboring New Hampshire to tour the accident site and express his outrage.

GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS: People should not have to drive through the turnpike tunnels with their fingers crossed.

LOTHIAN: The Big Dig, a series of tunnels and roadways designed to smooth out Boston's congested traffic, is the nation's most expensive public works project ever, $12 billion over budget.

Its construction problems also have been monumental. Defects caused water to leak into the tunnel system, and at one point rocks rained down on about a half dozen cars. In the latest case the chairman of the agency responsible for the Big Dig says a steel bolting system gave way, causing Monday's accident. Now state and federal investigations are under way to determine why.

MATTHEW AMORELLO, CHAIRMAN, MASSACHUSETTS TURNPIKE AUTHORITY: This is an awful situation that occurred, and we will leave no stone unturned and no expense spared in pursuing any wrongdoing that may have occurred in the installation of these tile panels, these ceiling panels when they were constructed.

LOTHIAN (on camera): Governor Romney believes the chairman is partly responsible because of, quote, "failure of leadership." He's now threatening legal action in a long-running battle to have the chairman removed from his job.

And the state attorney general, along with the U.S. attorney, are looking into whether anyone should be held criminally responsible for the deadly accident.

Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


COOPER: Well, two planes collided at an airport. The near disaster was caught on tape. That's the "Shot of the Day" in a moment. But first, Erica Hill has some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, we begin with a nice turnaround on Wall Street. After plunging 75 points earlier in the day, the Dow managed to finish in positive territory, adding 31 to close at 11,134. The S&P 500 gained five. The tech-heavy NASDAQ ended the day at 2,128, up almost 12 points.

Indictments today against three people accused of trying to sell Coca-Cola's trade secrets to Coke's arch-rival, Pepsi. All three defendants pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say a former Coca-Cola employee and two ex-cons tried to give the information to, quote, "the highest bidder." They're all being held without bond.

And it may be hard to believe, but there is a web site more popular than and those dedicated to Anderson Cooper. MySpace now attracts more U.S. visitors than any other American web site. The online networking site toppled Google and Yahoo! for the honor. Rupert Murdoch, you may recall, bought the site last year for 580 million bucks. Probably pretty happy about it now, Anderson.

COOPER: Erica, do you have a MySpace account?

HILL: I don't. Do you?

COOPER: No, I don't.

HILL: Because I went looking for you, and I couldn't find you.

COOPER: Isn't that just for the kids? Don't just the kids do it?

HILL: No, people our age do it, too.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: It's true.

COOPER: Wow, kids of all ages.

HILL: And it's a place to find music, too.

COOPER: Is it really?

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: Did not know that.

HILL: I'm here to help you.

COOPER: I appreciate that. Thanks for keeping me au courant.

Time for "The Shot" now. This is what happens when planes collide. Security camera obtained from KSTP Indianapolis.

HILL: Oh, my goodness.

COOPER: Two planes collided right on the tarmac. Happened last year at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. A Northwest airliner was pushing back from the gate, got hit by another Northwest jet. The crew of that plane found out their hydraulic system had failed. They couldn't do anything, couldn't stop the plane.

A total of 137 people on board. The accident ripped a gash in the smaller airliner. Fuel leaked out. Incredibly, nobody was injured. The whole thing could have blown up, but it didn't.

HILL: That's amazing.

COOPER: I know. I've never seen two planes collide like that.

HILL: No. Well, happy everybody...

COOPER: In all my years.

HILL: In all your years you've never seen anything like it.

COOPER: All right, Erica, thanks.

HILL: See you later.

COOPER: We're going to have more of our big story tonight. Terrorism strikes at the heart of rush hour in India, killing and injuring hundreds, carrying all the signs of al Qaeda. We'll have the latest in our next hour. Live reports from the scene.

Also ahead, from victim to suspect, why cops think the doctor who survived this building collapse may have been the one who caused it.

Later, escape from North Korea. Four refugees reveal what life was like inside Kim Jong-Il's secret state. They tell a story of torture and starvation and much, much more when 360 continues.


COOPER: India reeling from terror on the tracks and some U.S. rail lines have boosted security. All the angles next on 360.


COOPER: It happened a world away, but tonight repercussions from a rash of deadly bombings in India are being felt all around the globe.

ANNOUNCER: Terror on board. A wave of rush hour bombings kills scores in India. Here at home, security is increased. Tonight, the latest on the attacks.

Trailer travesty. From temporary homes to permanent nightmares for Katrina victims. Why is it taking FEMA so long to get rid of them? We're keeping them honest.

And explosive divorce. How a couple's bitter battle may have ended in a death wish and the collapse of a multimillion-dollar building.

Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Tonight, reporting from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Thanks for joining us.

We begin with the hour with the terror attacks in Mumbai, India. And the questions here at home.

Seven bombs -- other wire services reporting as many as eight, going off in rapid sequence on commuter trains in the city that's formerly known as Bombay.

Now, the first explosion came about 6:24 p.m. local time in India. That is peak rush hour, people returning home from work. The last bomb went off just 11 minutes later at 6:35.

Now, right now at this hour, the numbers are changing almost by the minute: 174 people known dead, 464 known injured. But according to the Red Cross, bodies are still being pulled out of the wreckage.

So far, there's no claim of responsibility. But officials suspect a pair of extremist Islamic groups with roots in the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan and connections with al Qaeda.


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