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A Pair of Incident Unfolding; A Van Plows Through People On London Bridge; Officials Calling The Attack Terrorism; Memorial Concert To Happen In Manchester; Stabbing Attack In The Borough Market; London Ambulance Service Transported 20 People To Local Hospitals; Eyewitness Describes Assailants And What He Saw; Scotland Yard On The Terrorist Incidents. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 03, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:42] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John Berman here with Ana Cabrera. The breaking news tonight in London, two incidents there being treated as terrorism. First, on a bridge there on London Bridge, a vehicle believe to be van slammed into people who are crossing there. Right now, the London Ambulance Service says the 20 people have been transported to the hospital. And we're now getting a new image of what were told is one of the attackers. We would show you that picture on the ground there.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: There's a man on the ground in London. This is outside a row of shops and restaurants at Borough Market which is next to London Bridge. Again, this attack happening around the 10:00 Eastern -- or excuse me, local time. It was about 5:30 Eastern here in the United States. And right now, police are treating this as an ongoing unfolding situation.
Now, it was on the street on London Bridge when the first attack happened. A van plowing in to crowded pedestrians who were on the bridge. Eyewitness telling us that he saw people being plowed over, someone flying into the air. British Prime Minister Theresa May calling this attack terrible and she has directed the London Police to treat them as acts of terrorism.
BERMAN: Now, new developments there. A hospital in London currently on lockdown. This hospital, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital, they say, "Due to the ongoing incidents in Central London, it is on lockdown to keep patients, relatives and staff safe." We will bring you all the new details as they come in, and they do keep on coming in here.
I want to bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen and Nic Robertson there at the scene. Nic, give us a sense of what you are seeing?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well Saint Thomas's Hospital, that hospital is just across from the Houses of Parliament, just across Westminster Bridge where so many of the casualties were taken following the Westminster attack. What we're hearing from the ambulance authorities and the city here, they are saying, they are calling this a major incident, a major operation.
Twenty people they said had been taken to six different London hospitals for treatment. That is normal in a situation like this that the police and the ambulance authorities try to disperse the casualties so that they can get them into the best medical facility as possible, so they don't overcrowd one location and block the, you know, the triage facilities there.
The ambulance authority is also saying that they've treated a number of people at the scene for injuries. So this figure of 20 is not the total number of casualties. They are just the ones that the authorities have taken to hospital so far.
What we are seeing here, the police continue to have the perimeter on lockdown. An explosion we heard from here in the last 30 or 40 minutes. Helicopters continue to fly above. There is no sign whatsoever that this police operation, this perimeter is going to shrink back which gives every indication that the search on the cordon on here is as extensive as it was before. An ongoing operation is how officers this location continue to describe it. And there's so many things, everything that we're seeing, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of police vehicles are lined up on the streets just around the corner from here.
CABRERA: We're looking on the right side of the screen, the scene from earlier when there were flashes, and a lot of horn talking. You could hear and see all of the sirens that were going on. Let's bring in Frederik Pleitgen who was also not far from where Nic Robertson is on scene near London Bridge. Fred, bring us up to speed as to the perspective from where you are.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly, Ana. We're at the other side of the cordon, very close to that first attack that took place.
CABRERA: OK. We just lost Frederik Pleitgen there.
PLEITGEN: Also the scene has been evolving ever since we started reporting from here. And it really looks as though right now there's a fewer police vehicles here than they were before. However, here as well, you can see in the distance, there's a lot of police officers who were coming down there right now. Not sure, if they're armed or not. This is a scene that we've seeing a lot over the past couple of hours that we've been here.
[22:05:01] It has relaxed somewhat over the past 30 or 40 minutes. However, you do see a lot of police vehicles still going back and forth, still coming in here. So the lockdown is still very much in place. That was earlier say about two hours ago that most of the sort of regular folks who were out here tonight were cleared out of the area after the initial attack took place. And really some of those people came out there with their hands over their heads to make sure that the police didn't misidentify them.
I did speak to one eyewitness down here who said that he saw several people getting at least searched, possibly even detained by police for a while. So you could see that for a while, there was an operation going on where they were really searching this entire area, going into some of the shops here, going to some houses even as they were trying to come to terms with what was a very chaotic situation unfolding again about 80 yards from where we were. That's where the initial attack took place, guys.
BERMAN: All right, Frederik Pleitgen for us on the scene. Fred, thank you for bringing us up to speed again.
These pictures from earlier, as you can see people flooding out of Borough Market, a very busy area on a Saturday night. Also, London Bridge, a very busy crossing there on a Saturday night. People out and about on the city as they would be on a June evening.
The U.S. State Department has issued a statement. Let me read it to you, "The U.S. condemns the cowardly attacks targeting innocent civilians in London this evening. We understand U.K. police are currently treating these as terrorist incidents. The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request. Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims."
CABRERA: We want to hear now from eyewitnesses who saw this horrific attack unfold. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL PATE, WITNESS: Suddenly, I heard kind of police shouting. So, I kind of keep my head down and then I turned around and there's a heavy police presence pushing two, maybe three guys up against the wall.
MARK ROBERTS, WITNESS: What I saw was a van coming across London Bridge at high speed swerving on and off the pavement. It knocked over several people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just heard gunshots, a huge crash. And then as we came out, you know, there were sirens -- police sirens, ambulance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were there a lot of police there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not immediately but police came in very quickly and took control of the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us now, CNN Senior National Security Analyst Lisa Monaco. She served as Assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. So Lisa, this situation still very much unfolding. We have seen those pictures of a couple of assailants that appeared to be on the ground, but police at this time are still telling all the residents in this area to stay vigilant and have said, this is an ongoing incident. Take us through these first crucial hours in an investigation like this. What happened?
LISA MONACO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the first thing of course they're going to do is make sure that they have secured the area and make sure that it's not any longer an active and ongoing situation. So -- but if in fact they have disabled any of the attackers, the first thing they're going to do is get one piece of information that they can then begin to follow up on. What type of identification might they have on them? Who registered the van that was used as a mechanism of murder it seems on the London Bridge?
They will take any piece of information they can get about these attackers and then go from there. They will follow it with looking at their databases that the Metropolitan Police, that the London intelligence services, both their internal MI5, their external MI6 intelligence services have, and they will work with their partners.
The U.K. law enforcement and intelligence services are the best of the best, and they are our closest partner when it comes to counterterrorism and national security matters. And they will be working as they already are, I'm sure, with the FBI on the ground or their presence rather in the U.K. in London as well as reaching back here to contacts in the United States, both in the law enforcement intelligence and Homeland Security communities. So the most critical thing to be watching for here is what piece of information can they start from about the person or persons who have conducted this attack?
BERMAN: And Lisa, it's very interesting, in this event, it is still unfolding. And that is what we have been told by the Mayor of London, and that is what we see with our own eyes on the ground right there behind the reporters who are on the scene, who keep on hearing blasts behind them in what is an ongoing police operation.
But we also do know that officials there are officially calling this terrorism. The police department there, the London Metropolitan Police, they say these are terrorist incidents. The London Mayor says this is a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent people. What is that tell you about their level of competence or what they have learned at this point to make that statement so clearly?
[22:10:14] MONACO: Well, look, the reports that we've seen thus far in the last two hours are that this van made a deliberate move against a number of people on the London Bridge, and that an individual or individuals then conducted an attack in the Borough Market. So, I'm not at all surprised that they are treating this as an act of terrorism. It has all the hallmarks of unfortunately what we have seen before in the types of violence that has been inspired by ISIS.
Now, of course, we do not know who is to blame for this. We do not have any claims of responsibility. We have no information thus far as far as I'm aware of anybody in custody. But it has the hallmarks of the type of, if not direct or inspired act of violence that we have seen from Jihadist Islamic inspired groups, if not ISIS or al-Qaeda.
CABRERA: So, Lisa, we don't have a lot of information. We don't know how many potential casualties there are. We don't know if any suspects are actually in custody or if they have been shot and killed. We've seen pictures of couple people on the ground. We don't know exactly which vehicle was involved still, where it came to rest and how it ended up being stopped, if it was stopped, involved in the London Bridge incident. Is it -- does it surprise you we don't have more information at this point, that authorities haven't put a call for the public to come forward with any kinds of tips of, you know, "If you saw this van, we want to hear from you," or, "If you know who these individuals are, we want to hear from you.:
MONACO: Well, a few things. One, it is obviously in the wee hours of the morning in London right now, so it may be the case that the law enforcement authorities are not sure what they would get from such a call. But the other thing is they -- I am confident that they're doing a whole lot behind the scenes. They may very well know a lot more than has being put out right now. Our U.K. partners are very careful, as they should be, with the information that they have in the early stages of an investigation. They keep that information very closely guarded. And as of course, we know, they have recently had an experience with regard to the Manchester attack that they were very frustrated by the leak of information on this side of the Atlantic.
Now -- but, again, this is very early. There is still -- they are first and foremost going to be concerned about locking down the areas where these attacks took place, making sure that individuals are not continuing to be under threat, to make sure that they have satisfied themselves, that there is not an ongoing situation. And that is not -- they haven't been able to do that by all accounts yet. They need to make sure that they stem the chaos of the situations ongoing and then in the meantime undertake what I am confident is a whole lot of investigative steps with regard to the van that was used in the London Bridge attack and taking information from that van, what is the license plate be, who registered it, and working out from there.
BERMAN: Lisa, you have been a part of the decisions on the terror threat levels in the United States. You know, in England, we know that the terror threat level had been raised to critical, the level it had been in more than a decade, and then they lowered it down a notch to severe, which is still high. But what goes in to those decisions?
MONACO: Well, there's going to be a number of things that go in to a determination like that. Now, obviously, here in the United States, we have a process that's run by the Secretary of Homeland Security, that he was advised by a board of professionals on this.
And, first and foremost, it is going to be guided by the intelligence picture. A comprehensive picture from law enforcement and intelligence sources that give the -- in our case, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the rest of the national security team, a full picture of what the threat may be. And we have refined it over time. In other words, are we most focused on in particular the aviation sector or the transportation sector and able to focus on threat levels in those areas as opposed to just one blanket threat level based on a color-coded system, which obviously we moved away from some years ago.
[22:20:01] CABRERA: And, of course, what happened tonight come less than 24 hours now before a memorial concert that supposed to happen in Manchester for the victims of the recent suicide bombing there at the concert of Ariana Grande. The pop singer also tweeted tonight, "Praying for London." There is still no word yet on whether that concert will go on or if it will be cancelled. Do you anticipate the events of tonight will have an impact?
MONACO: Well, I think a lot remains to be seen over the coming hours in terms of whether or not the authorities there can satisfy themselves that this is a coordinated effort, whether it's the work of one individual or individuals, whether it's directed, whether it's inspired.
Obviously, this is -- initially, it looks -- it appears to be the vehicle attack on the bridge, on London Bridge, and then a subsequent attack in the Borough Market close by, obviously, very some distance from Manchester or significant distance from Manchester. But I think, certainly, the authorities, as they have been before Manchester and certainly after any large gathering, any big public venue is going to be on extreme heightened alert.
And as we have learned, unfortunately, over the last several years, ISIS and similar groups are focused on what we call soft targets. They are focused on making a significant impact on areas where civilians and revelers may be. And the Manchester concert is going to be the type of place where law enforcement and Homeland Security officials are going to be at the most tightened state of alert.
CABRERA: All right, Lisa Monaco, standby and thank you for that report.
After the break, new pictures from the scene of the stabbing attack in Central London, in the Borough Market. We'll be right back.
[22:20:16] CABRERA: We are following breaking news out of London, a pair of terrorist incidents unfolding right now. I'm Ana Cabrera, alongside John Berman.
We have some photos just in to CNN. As we're also learning, U.K. media reporting at least one person is dead in the terror attacks. This photo from the scene of a stabbing attack in London, in the Borough Market, one of two terror attacks which hit the city tonight. These were taken, again, Borough Market not far from London Bridge where the other incident took place.
We've blurred some of these photos to protect the victim's identity, and clearly graphic images showing just how devastating that attack was. An eyewitness on the scene saying she saw a waitress stabbed in the neck and another person stabbed in the back. One of the two incidents that have left London reeling. The other incident involving a van that plowed into people on London Bridge.
BERMAN: Again, the British media reporting one person dead. The London ambulance service is telling us that 20 people have been transported to local hospitals. We do not know the condition of those people.
Joining us now, CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, you know what's interesting, you know, we don't know for certain whether the event on London Bridge and Borough Market, whether they're connected, but it seems likely they are. It also seems very possible that who was ever in the van in London -- on London Bridge did the stabbings in the Borough Market there. Based on what you've see, how much planning would this attack need? It doesn't appear necessarily very sophisticated, though it does appear very deliberate.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right, John. This is not an event that someone would have to actually try to make a bomb and get materials. This is a car. This is a van. This is the easiest thing to acquire. And this is one of the million soft targets in London on a Saturday night.
So, in terms of how much help this person or people would have had to have gotten, it would be pretty minimal. And that's why these things are so hard to predict, and they are so hard to stop.
This is -- now, here is -- you know, these are hard things to say, but I'm going to say it, the good news is this appears at least so far that there's only one death and though now there's 20 in the hospital, this is in other words the potential for deaths was much greater than the success of this terror attack. It was successful. But thank goodness either because the van was stopped or -- and because the quick response of public health and law enforcement agencies.
So, while it's very hard to say publicly, you know, one of the measures of success in our counterterrorism effort isn't our capacity to stop everything because that's very hard to do. It is also, what is the response capability? How is the public reacting?
In this sense, if you're following along on Twitter and Facebook, the British have been incredibly communicative with the public about what they need to do, where they need to go to protect themselves. And that's part of what we've learned since 9/11, what all these nations have learned.
So in that sense, you know, you do have to look at these things not just from our capacity to stop them all from happening, but are we able to minimize the harms to the public? And you're measuring by both actually, because it's just -- as you said, it's just really hard to stop something like this given that materials didn't have to be bought, you didn't have test the bomb and you didn't -- and you may not have to plan with anyone else.
CABRERA: It is important to know that only one person at this time is being reported as dead, according to the U.K. press. But we also heard from an eyewitness who was there when that van plowed into people on London Bridge earlier, a little after 8:00 -- 10:00 local time there, 10:08 local time according to the police there who said they were responding to the incident almost immediately.
And the eyewitness tells us, he saw someone was not 20 to 30 feet in the air by the van. And also could see five or six people not moving on the ground following that van passing through. We spoke with another eyewitness who said he saw somebody jumped from London Bridge as that van was plowing through in an attempt he believed to get out of the way. So, we are still cautious when we report numbers and all that at this stage because there are no official numbers coming from the police and the officials there on the ground just yet.
Juliette, though, given that we have not heard and all clear of any sort --
CABRERA: -- does it surprise you that we have -- we've seen a picture of a couple people on the ground with law enforcement over them. Are you surprised that we haven't heard the all clear, does that mean they believe there could be still more people out there?
KAYYEM: Yes. And you would -- look, you want any law enforcement agency to assume that at this stage, given the kind of terror attacks that we have seen. You've seen multiple attacks. And they're not just a one guy that you may have on the ground there. There might be others affiliated with him or that were actually at the scene that may have gotten out of the van. We just don't know at this stage.
[22:25:03] As we also know, I've been on air enough with you -- with the CNN. These eyewitness reports are not always accurate. So, the police may hear, there's only one or two people, and in fact there's eight or they might hear that there were eight people, eight terrorists, and there's only two.
So they're trying to figure out in terms of putting the pieces together, the heavy surveillance in the country and a city like London and a country like England, and also making sure that that they're going after the right people.
I'm not too concerned with the lack of information now. I think it's important that we remain sort of respectful at moments like this about what law enforcement does know. They may have names or they may have identities and they're going to the houses, they're checking out the families, making sure that the public safety is still not at risk.
And of course, as other commentators have said, you know, these things don't happen in isolation. The fact that we don't know doesn't mean that they don't know, that the British don't know, they were severely wounded. Let's put it that way. That's a kind way of putting it. They were not happy with the number of the leaks that were coming on the U.S. side after Manchester less than or about two weeks ago. And so, while Britain had said that they are now sharing information as before, I have to admit to you, this is a bit of a test case. Are the British as willing as they had been before to share information with us or not? We will find out actually in just the next couple of hours as we are reporting on this overnight.
BERMAN: Right. You think that U.S. officials being extra careful on this one tonight in the wake --
BERMAN: -- of what happened in Manchester. Juliette, I think that is the safe. I want to bring in CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier who joins us right now. And Kimberly, just remind us of the timing of this. Set the stage for us in London right with the general election days away on Thursday, the chance if they choose to elect a new Prime Minister.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. And Theresa May was facing a sort of uphill election. Her lead over the Labour Party had been cut in half over the past couple of weeks, because she is apparently not a good campaigner, and she said some real clangors on the campaign trail that made people see her as possibly not very sympathetic to the public.
But in a time of crisis like this, the Conservative Party is seen as the one that's more tough on security. It's the party of Brexit. Sp this might may in the end help her secure a more comfortable victory come Thursday.
CABRERA: I want to show some more pictures coming into CNN. New pictures from the scene of the stabbing in London. These were taken at the Borough Market, showing how devastating the attack was. If we can put those up guys, because this helps to tell the story of what happened as we're learning more and more about how this incident unfolded.
You see, there is clearly a bloody scene. It's disturbing to look at these pictures. But it does paint the picture of how vicious this was. We don't know how many attackers were involved. We have heard different numbers from different eyewitnesses that we had spoken to overnight. And again, two separate incidents. The U.K. media reporting at least one person is dead in these two terror attacks. British Prime Minister now calling a Cobra meeting and it is now tomorrow already in London.
BERMAN: And it just show you what terrorists can do with a vehicle and a knife, right? The only weapons we know they had as the van that they were driving, and also a knife, a big knife but a knife brought in to a restaurant, and that sets off this wave of fear and confusion. We know at least one dead according to the British media right now and more than 20 people, 20 people taken to local hospitals there.
CABRERA: Let me read you the description from one of those witnesses inside a restaurant where apparently two people were stabbed. This is Elsbeth Smedley who tells CNN that they were in Elliott's, this is the name of the restaurant, at the front of the restaurant when suddenly a load of people started running up the street from Borough Market. Someone said, "What is going on?" One of people running said, "There's a man with a knife up there. He is coming this way."
And then there was complete panic she described as everyone ran back of the restaurant. They crouched down, trying to hide themselves out of view. A man they said suddenly appeared in the restaurant with a massive knife. Some people in the restaurant believed there may be another man. These are pictures that she took as they were crouching down. It was so chaotic though she said it was hard to tell how many people were there. But she reports seeing the man with that huge knife stabbed a waitress who was hiding behind a partition. He stabbed her in the neck, she says, and then he stabbed another man in the back, and then he ran out of the restaurant again according to this eyewitness Elsbeth Smedley. BERMAN: And these are her pictures that we're seeing right now. So obviously in that moment of fear and chaos in the presence of mind, they tried to document it which could be very, very useful to law enforcement when they're trying to piece together a timeline of what happened there.
[22:30:05] Joining us now here in New York, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Former FBI Special James Gagliano. And James, one of the things we have been looking at is we have this photo which I hope we can get a hold up here of at least one assailant, perhaps two of them down on the ground outside a pub Palm in Borough Market. We'll find those photos because I think they're worth describing to our audience there.
You see -- we'll tell people what we're going to see here. You're going to see two men down on the ground with law enforcement over them right now. And we see a vest, a vest on one of the men. What does that tell you?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, John, we can - and I've heard some different accounts on the speculation on what is actually on those vests. There are some in the counterterrorism community, they have looked at them and said, they could appear to be explosive devices. And others have said, they more appear like a tactical vest where somebody could have just hang some type of grenades on it, maybe smoke canisters or possibly pipe bombs.
I think what I'm struck with by this especially as we look at the photos in the cafeteria, I'm sorry in the cafe is the savagery and the butchery. For a terrorist to use a weapon such as a firearm, and we all understand that the utilitarian nature of this, they had to make decisions to use a truck and a knife because you can easily get those. Those are easy to come into contact with.
But when you're using a weapon that gives you stand off, it's one thing. When you have to use a blade to dispatch people, to take people's lives, that takes a level of commitment, zealotry, savagery that the normal human being, you know, a psychopath or sociopath is not equipped with. These folks were definitely committed zealots. They had a deep-seated hostility in them. I'm looking at those pictures, I mean I've seen some gruesome crime scene photos before but they struck me, the savagery and the horrific images of what must have gone on inside of that cafe.
CABRERA: And we've heard the descriptions of this attack and we've also heard from people saying they've heard gunshots. We know that there were gunshots because that was confirmed by the Metropolitan Police. But they didn't sat or confirm who fired those shots, if it was police firing shots or if there was somebody else firing shots. Does that provide any more context of the situation for you?
GAGLIANO: Well, looking at the photo that John described of the two apparent subjects on the ground, we don't know if they were killed by police gunfire or if they're giving up. We don't know that.
It's hard to say some of the sounds we heard did sound like diversionary devices. And I'm sure as the police started getting more information and more intel, they started to move to location where some of these folks might have been secreted, or a place like the cafe where they might have been conducting the terrorist attack. That could have been an exchanged of gunfire, it could have be one way directional gunfire coming from the police to dispatch these folks. Because again, if they are laden with any type of explosives, you can't get close enough to put your hands on them. It's just, it's too dangerous a situation. And unless you can get them to give up hands up in the air and that there's no detonator and make certain it's safe, you can't get close enough to handcuff them.
BERMAN: All right, James, everyone standby one moment here. We want our viewers in London to know something. We have a request from the Metropolitan police on their Twitter account, "If you are safe, please let friends and family know. This will relieve pressure on casualty bureau." They want you to know -- they want your family members to know that you're OK, so that frankly their phone lines don't get flooded with requests.
Police obviously is trying to cope with the aftermath of this tragedy. At least 20 people taken to local hospitals. British media reporting one dead. Much more of our breaking news coverage ahead.
CABRERA: We're following breaking news. Out of London, a pair of terror attacks leaving the city on edge and police in total effort right now trying to track down exactly what happened and what may have lead to a deadly night in the city. Talking to multiple witnesses tonight on the phone about this terror attacks.
We spoke with a man who was there as it unfolded and described to us the assailants and what he saw. Listen.
JACK APPLEBEE, APPLEBEE'S FISH OWNER (via telephone): So, we were just sort of outside with a few friends and it was a little bit crazy, like people just kept running down the street and like there's one girl saying that they're stabbing everyone -- they're stabbing people. And I literally just turned back around and I've got restaurants full of customers and I just said, "Everyone, to the back, to the back," by sort of trying to get there just as quick as we can. And literally, everyone just got off their sit like rushed towards 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 shutter down. And I literally turned back around and there were these three men standing there, one of which with 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 back of the restaurant and they just sort of carried on going back down towards the street and me and a colleague run to the front and we saw -- he kept lookout and I just sort of managed to get the shutter down. We just sort of let the shutter down almost sort of as far as we could and it was like a moment of panic and like this shutter was just sort, you know, slow as usual and we just sort of everyone got locked inside and we left the shutter down. But then when we looked -- as we looked underneath really about five minutes, everyone was at the back and which everyone is worried, like we don't know, there's still really gap in the shutter.
But about five minutes later, there were just gunshots everywhere and everyone's upstairs like still trying to keep down and we're just trying to keep everyone calm. Like all the staff, everyone just sort of -- everyone did really a good 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've seen to believe might have been like suicide vest. So everyone sort of -- we put everyone in the staff room up top and everyone sort of get down and just sort of handing out water to everyone and just sort of trying to keep everyone OK. It was just crazy.
[22:40:03] And then next thing, about an hour and a half later, police knocked on the shutter and sort of they called for me to come give them the keys to open the shutter and everyone gets sort of escorted out of there like immediately, hands on the head like running towards The Shard. It was just, yes, so crazy.
CABRERA: So, Jack, did you hear two separate times what sounded to be gunshots?
APPLEBEE (via telephone): It was more than twice. I'd say it's really about six or seven times we heard gunshots going off down the street. Each time were like three or four, maybe more gunshots at a time. The first one, we probably heard about 10 to 15 gunshots.
CABRERA: And where exactly did you see these men in the vests that you described? Were they right outside your restaurant or ways away and what were they doing?
APPLEBEE (via telephone): They were literally -- well, there were two men, one of which we saw the vest on which luckily one of my colleague, he was so good, he is like that move him like such a good guy and like he was just -- he was honestly one of the heroes. And he just sort of -- he just told everyone he said he saw the vest and told everyone to get back, get everyone calm. He told me what it was and we just put everyone to safety.
BERMAN: Jack, I want to clear --
APPLEBEE (via telephone): He is on the floor with this what appears to be a vest and we're just worried about an explosion.
BERMAN: Jack, did it look like a suicide vest? Did it look like what you see in pictures of suicide vest? Were there wires? Were they what appeared to be explosives in this vest?
APPLEBEE (via telephone): No, I just saw like the big packets all around him like just sort of around his stomach really. But nothing went off and like there were police -- there were police lights all on the body making sure they don't move. Like the police seemed to do a really good job very quickly. And I don't -- I didn't see any actual casualties or injuries, like all of the customers were OK. I'm just so glad. They never came in and --
APPLEBEE (via telephone): -- we got the shutter down because if we didn't get the shutter down when they were shooting, then they died outside the restaurant as they ran in or something. I don't know.
BERMAN: a little bit of a closer look now at a photo of what we believe to be one of the assailants on the ground there. We can see perhaps I think the vest that you were describing their, Jack. The picture of this man's face is a little blurry. Can you give us a sense of how old these individuals look? Did you get a look at both of them or just one?
APPLEBEE: Yes. I mean, you just sort of -- there was three of them I'd say probably about 30-year-old or something. But I'm just so surprised they never actually came in. They just -- I mean they took a couple of steps in the door and at that point, everyone just sort of -- we didn't really -- we didn't know what's going on. We just did what we can and just try to keep everyone as safe as we could. But they -- yes, just if they had come in, they could have caused so much destruction and just -- yes, it's a moment of -- I don't know something strange I guess.
CABRERA: Jack, did you see police officers actually engage these suspects?
APPLEBEE (via telephone): We really didn't get to see it because we had the shutters down and --
APPLEBEE (via telephone): -- we heard it. I mean, everyone was pretty frightened but we just tried to keep everyone as calm as we could.
BERMAN: That was witness Jack Applebee who was inside his restaurant, able to shut the steel shutters outside and protected people inside the restaurant. There were there for some 90 minutes as you heard while events were unfolding outside. He did get a look. He said he saw three assailants. We don't know if that's the actual number. Sometimes in the confusion surrounding these events, numbers are hard to come by. But we have seen a picture of at least two men, two men down on the ground following this attack, what appears to be law enforcement or security guards near them.
This is the photo right now, one on the forefront, one on the background. Out witness, jack Applebee describe the vests they were wearing. We don't know exactly what those vests were. Were they some kind of flak jackets? Were they tactical vests? Were they suicide vests? Simply too hard to tell from these pictures.
We're joined by CNN Global Affairs Analyst David Rohde. David, we've been listening to the witnesses there. As far as the facts though that we know right now, British media reporting one dead and the London ambulance service reporting 20 people being taken to the hospital. We do not know what condition they're in. Hopefully, we're dealing with injuries here and not -- we just don't know yet.
DAVID ROHDE, BY CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. I mean, these tactics are, you know, running people the car, stabbing with machetes. They're cowardly, they're craven, they're very, very crude. And so, we don't know but maybe if these numbers are right, it's one death and, you know, these people who were around these would be traumatized.
But, you know, this is -- this could have been much worse. This is -- there is no sophisticated bombs as far as we know as occurred in Manchester. The gunfire was hopefully police very quickly engaging and shooting these people. So if there is one death, we don't know. It could be much more that shows. And there were numerous attackers. That's a relatively low number.
But again, it's scary. It's designed to scare people. But you know, stabbings are better than the very large bombs. And we don't know what's happened, but I want to think that this was contained and it could have been worse.
[22:44:56] CABRERA: You know, looking at the bigger picture here, three attacks now in three months just in England. They have the Westminster Bridge attack back in March, there was the Manchester bombing of course less than two weeks ago. And now, this which is two separate incidents that we're kind of, you know, talking about as one because they're both happening right now. And this is in London -- London Bridge where the van drove over people, and then course Borough Market where we are hearing about the stubbing attack.
In addition to the timing of these being so close together, it's also Ramadan and it comes less than a week before the British elections. What do you make of the timing, David?
ROHDE: It's clearly, you know, time to have impact on the political process there. ISIS has been sending out message calling for these kind of attacks. But again, two of the attacks seem to be inspired people using vehicles, very crude attacks.
What's more alarming to me was this Manchester attack, where this is person who had traveled abroad, built a sophisticated bomb, had a network, you know, had direct contact with the Islamic State and was not seen as he did all these preparations and was not noticed when he communicated. That's more alarming to me than, you know, someone taking a vehicle. They're all terrible but, you know, an amateur who's inspired to do something rush that, you know, causes fewer casualties is better than a much more sophisticated attack.
BERMAN: All right, standby. We are getting a little bit of breaking news here from the White House. We are being told that Donald Trump, the President of United States, did speak with the British Prime Minister. Let me read to you the statement from the White House. President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Teresa May of the United Kingdom today. The President offered his condolences for the brutal terror attacks on June 3rd in Central London. He praised the heroic response of police and other first responders and offered the full support of the United States government in investigating and bringing those responsible for these heinous acts to justice.
Obviously, you know, the United States and Great Britain, you know, a long time allies. This statement loaded with a little more meaning, David Rohde, in the wake of what happened in Manchester and how unhappy the British were that things were leaked apparently by U.S. officials.
ROHDE: Yes. There's been no such leaks tonight that I've seen on my Twitter feed to any American news organizations. And I think the, you know, American law enforcement heard that message from their British counterparts and things are staying under wraps which, you know, they should be in this kind of situations, I think.
CABRERA: James Gagliano, Former Special Agent with the FBI, when you look at the picture there on the right-hand side of your screen, you're analyzing that image. We don't know who those people are on the ground. We don't know why they're on the ground. But what do you learn by looking at their position and the position of the people who were standing over them?
GAGLIANO: Well, first of all, you know, the people on the frontline against terrorism, the first responders, they're never the special operations folks because there's just -- there's too many places to covers this, too much area to cover this, too many opportunities for people to do things like this, a soft target.
I'm struck as I look at these photos. I don't know who either the two gentlemen are standing over what we believe to be subjects in this investigation. But they don't look like special operations police. I'm sure that they were probably local police, could be a security guard. The fact that the assailant closes to us in the foreground of the photo is on his back is telling to me because trained law enforcement is going to put you down face first.
CABRERA: If they're ordering you or commanding you to hit the ground.
GAGLIANO: Absolutely. And the purpose in that is, you want to limit their vision. You don't want them to be able to see when you're making an approach. You don't want them to see how many of you there are. So that would be standard protocol.
Now, I'm not going to second-guess this or you want to quarterback it because this is happening in the fog of war and my intelligence sources are telling me now that the numbers that we're hearing are pretty accurate.
Now, can that change? Yes. But right now what we're hearing is one confirmed dead, 20 possibly in the hospital, but nothing as far as changing numbers as of yet.
BERMAN: All right. You see on your screen right there. We're just learning the Scotland Yard is going to hold a news conference any minute now to give us an update on this investigation, an update on what's happening.
Juliette Kayyem is with us as well, you know, Former Homeland Security Official here in United States. Interesting. We are going to hear from Scotland Yard tonight. It is, what, 3:49 a.m. in London. The fact that they are coming out and making a public statement now, Juliette, what does that tell you and what do they need to tell the public at this early hour there?
KAYYEM: Well, there's a couple of things going on. So the new conference is absolutely essential. One, because it's going to drive all of the journalist stories, which is important though, at least what they know right now, which they're able to confirm and are able to share, give some assurances to the public that at least the immediate public safety concerns are either over or that if they are continuing what the public should do. And Scotland Yard is very good with that in terms of directing the public about what to do.
[22:49:52] But remember this is just a news conference and I just want to go back to something you said before the break. Various law enforcement entities in Britain have been really good over the last two hours pushing out information. And one of them was the most recent one coming from the Metropolitan police, which is people are out tonight and parents probably in particular do not know where their kids are. So the tweet by Metropolitan police is what everyone focuses on in the tragedy.
I've done enough crisis in my career. The thing that animates everyone is family unification. Do I know where my kid is? Do I know where my spouse is? Do I know where my parents?
BERMAN: All, Juliette, I want to break in right here. We're hearing from Scotland Yard right now. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ROWLEY, METROPOLITAN POLICE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: -- police resources across the capital. Finally, I would ask the public to be vigilant and contact the police if they've got any concerns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assistant Commissioner, can you just tell us, is this incident completely over now?
ROWLEY: Finally, I would ask the public to be vigilant and contact the police if they've got any concerns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assistant Commissioner, can you just tell us, is this incident completely over now?
ROWLEY: Our current belief is that there were three attackers but this is early on so we still got some inquiries to work through to be completely confident about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were three attackers in the vehicle. So the attackers from the vehicle have all been killed?
ROWLEY: So this is a protracted incident that starts on the bridge and finishes in Borough Market and we believe three people were involved, but we still got some more inquiries to do to be 100 percent confident in that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us anything more about the attacks, where the people were killed?
ROWLEY: You know, there's still -- you're asking for a lot of things out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
ROWLEY: We're still getting to the bottom of exactly what's going on, the number of casualties, and it's still quite a complex scene. As you have understood from what I've said, we're still dealing with the fact that we suspected at one stage the explosives, although that has not been ruled out. Last question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us a little bit more about the people who are involved in the operation to bring down these terrorists?
ROWLEY: So, the public are really aware that we have strengthen the armed policing presence across London in recent years. So we've got more on response vehicles to hand and especially armed response vehicles that are 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just one other -- OK. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: OK. That was just a very brief press briefing with an official from Scotland Yard and we are learning now six people have been killed plus three attackers who were killed, shot dead as he just said, shot dead by law enforcement who were able to respond very quickly.
The other piece of information that we learned is a little bit of the timeline here. It sounds like it was the same attackers who were involved in the bridge incident who later moved into the Borough Market area and participated in that stabbing incident. Again, two incidents that appeared to be connected now. They saw these three attackers, the incident started on London Bridge with a van mowing over people and then moved as he worded it into the Borough Market area where there was the stabbing attack. Police were able to respond quickly. They engaged these three attackers and shot and killed them.
BERMAN: Yes. Juliette Kayyem is with us right now. It was a very brief statement from Scotland Yard, Juliette, but a lot of information packed in there. Again, we now know six people killed in an attack that included a van and some knives, right? The van mow down people on London Bridge, then the attackers went to the restaurant there were they stabbed people inside the restaurant. We don't know if people died in both the bridge and the restaurant. The breakdown there. We also know three assailants dead. And we also know that these two attacks now definitively connected. It was the same three people --
BERMAN: -- in the van that then went to the restaurant. And it seems that the Scotland Yard believes it was just those three people.
KAYYEM: Yes. I think that my big takeaway is a statement by the Scotland Yard to I think the public which is, this is not one event -- two events and we should anticipate three and four with the same three guys. At least he was cautious and say, "We don't know if there was more." And so, that this night is over so to speak. In other words, that they feel as if they have contained whatever ongoing threat that could be. That's important because the British obviously have Paris in the back of their mind and sort of a series of three, four attacks that occurred overnight.
I think the second big takeaway for me is, no -- not even a hint of who this might be, or who these people are. They clearly know who they are. They're dead. And so, part of the -- what we'll learn over the next couple hours. But I just thought there was not even any sort of, "We have the names." Remember, they came out with a name relatively quickly two weeks ago after Manchester. So those are my two big takeaways from a very short but very direct press conference.
CABRERA: OK, Juliette, standby. We have new video coming in now posted on Twitter that apparently shows a Hertz van that British media is saying is the van involved in the London Bridge and Borough Market attack. That Hertz van there in the middle of the screen it appears.
[22:55:00] And again, this is the van that people say was plowing through people who were on the bridge little after 10:00 local time there this evening. And half course that was an evening -- that was a beautiful night we are told. People were out and about, people taking pictures on that bridge. The water was still and calm and this came out of nowhere.
We heard a one eyewitness say he say at least five or six people then on the ground following the van coming through, another person who jumped into the air or was tossed into the air 20 or 38 as it was hit -- that person was hit by the van, and another person jumping off the bridge. But the latest reporting when it comes to casualties, six people who were killed and three attackers who were then shot by police.
CNN Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen is joining us now. Fred, you arrived on the scene not long after the incident was reported on London Bridge. We just heard from the police there, Britain. It sounds like they believe that this attack is now overall though they aren't ruling anything out and they are continuing their investigation.
PLEITGEN: Yes. And that certainly, Ana, exactly what we're seeing on the ground here as well. I think you can see those lights flashing behind me. Those are obviously all still police vehicles that are going in and out here very close to the scene of where the initial attack there on London Bridge took place.
So you can see that this investigation is still going on. We can also see a lot of police officers, some of them quite heavily armed roaming around the streets here close to where we are, simply still checking on places, seeing if there still is anything suspicious going on.
And really, in the early stages after this attack took place, I'd say I was here about half an hour, maybe a little more after it took place and you could see that the police at that point in time did not know how big this attack was in scale and scope. And so they were really trying to evacuate all of the people out of this area and then also though trying to take people into custody, search people who they believe might be connected to all of this. I spoke to one eyewitness who said that he witnessed that he saw some police officers pushed several people close to a shop and then sort of searched them and see if they had any sort of connection.
So there was a great deal of chaos in the early I'd say at least in the first hour after this incident took place. And then of course there was the big question about whether or not those two attacks were related, the one at Borough Market, and the one at -- on London Bridge. Of course you guys have been saying very correctly that those two areas very, very close to one another. So there were people who from the very beginning said that they believe they might be connected. But of course, that was unclear.
Now the London police coming out and saying they believe, yes, they were. It was the same three attackers. It certainly was a lot of chaos though here in the early stages after that took place. It's quieted down now a little bit. I can show you guys around a little bit. You can see over there. There still is the police in place here, these two cops here who are doing more sort of regulate the traffic of police vehicles coming in and out of the cordoned area.
We're about 100 yards, maybe 80 yards from where the initial incident on London Bridge took place. And you can see if we pan up again, we have The Shard there, that very iconic London skyscraper. That's around where Borough Market is. So it is very, very close, all of these places where these incidents took place to each other and that's one of the reasons again why so many people thought or why some thought initially that these incidents were connected.
We now are learning from the London Police that they were. And I have to say, one thing, they were very, very quick to respond to this. There were officers here on the scene very, very quickly cordoning the area off, trying to get people out of here as fast as possible. Clearly, the London police, very, very experienced in dealing with situations like the one that unfolded here tonight, guys.
BERMAN: And in fact, according to Mark Rowley of Scotland Yard, he is the Assistant Commissioners of Special Ops we just heard from, British police were on the scene within eight minutes after these three assailants started stabbing people in the restaurant there. It was eight minutes after that according to the statement we just heard that the three assailants were short dead.
So this happened in a very short period of time. And it was actually over right after it started, Fred, practically, and then it went on for hours and hours. We kept on hearing blast. The area was cordoned off. They still weren't certain that they had everybody.
PLEITGEN: Yes. And I mean, we have to keep in mind that all of this took place in absolute chaos, as these people were walking through the streets stabbing people and obviously being very dangerous after initially running several people over on this bridge. And within that chaos, identified the people who were dangerous and then take them out. I think that does show how fast the police officers were here.
And it's one of the things that you notice when you live in city, John. It's remarkable that you don't really see a massive police presence on the ground here on a regular day. But when something happen, they do show up in force very, very quickly. Very professional police force here.
[22:59:54] CABRERA: All right. Fred Pleitgen in London for us near London Bridge where this attack all began to unfold now going on almost six hours. Fred Pleitgen, standby.
Breaking news here with CNN. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera.