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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Police: Eight Dead in "Act of Terror" in New York City. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 31, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:16] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We are in Lower Manhattan tonight, not far from where I'm standing is a bike path along the Hudson River that so many people, myself included, consider one of the best things about living here in New York City. And it's a place to get healthy or just to get away, stands in the shadow of the site of the nation's deadliest terror attack, and sadly, this part of Lower Manhattan is a crime scene once again this evening.
Just a few hours ago, it was a killing ground. The driver of a rental truck saw to that. This is just a photo of the wreckage that driver left behind, the broken bicycles, speaking to the loss of human life, eight killed.
The suspect seen here carrying a paint ball and pellet gun, shot, in custody, taken to the hospital, along with 11 other badly injured victims. It was the worst terror attack in New York since 9/11. And yes, that is how authorities are treating this at this hour.
The suspect is 29 years old reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "god is great". The suspect is reportedly from Uzbekistan and more recently Florida, according to law enforcement, at this point -- law enforcement sources, I should say.
And while acknowledging the pain so many here are feeling tonight, New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, as well as New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also made one thing perfectly clear, anyone who thinks an act of terror can terrorize New Yorkers is mistaken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient, and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us.
We have been tested before as a city very near the site of today's tragedy. And New Yorkers do not give in, in the face of these kind of actions. We'll respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tonight, as you can see all around here, it's very much still an active crime scene. We're looking at all aspects of what happened here. The reaction to it, what we know about the roots of it, and how it fits into what seems to be an outbreak of vehicle attacks around the world.
First, we begin with CNN's Tom Foreman, who joins us more on what happened here moment by moment -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, 6,000 to 8,000 bicyclists a day and countless pedestrians travel along the Hudson River on this trail right over in this area. And it is billed as the busiest bike path in America. That's where officials say this attack unfolded. From house in the street down to Freedom Tower almost right here down to the site of the former World Trade Center.
It started at 3:05 in the afternoon. That's where he pulled off the West Side Highway here and onto the back path right here heading south. Eyewitness said the driver accelerated and was quickly zooming along. The path is paved and easily wide enough to accommodate a vehicle. So, there would be very little to slow him down and considering how many people you typically see here on a nice afternoon, it's rather remarkable more were not injured and how far he made it.
In any event, down in this area, it's not really clear exactly what happened there, whether he was trying to somehow pull off of the bike path and get back into the main traffic here on the West Side Highway or somewhere else, or he met another vehicle intersecting the path. It's not clear exactly how it happened, but we do know that at this point he collided with another vehicle and his was disabled here.
He jumped out, that's when he was yelling as you mentioned, waving around this paint ball and this pellet gun. And then he was down in this area right here, that's where he was shot by the police -- Anderson.
COOPER: How long beginning to end do we know was this terror attack?
FOREMAN: Well, the math says it could not have been long. This rented vehicle that he was in is listed as having a powerful V8 engine. And there were as I mentioned no obvious signs of anything to block his path. No big concrete barriers or anything like that. So, he would have been able to go down without slowing down a whole lot.
Rented in New Jersey, had a big V8 engine. Overall, this distance was just under a mile. So if he was going nearly 60 miles an hour, and witnesses suggested it may have been faster than that, less than one minute -- Anderson.
COOPER: Tom Foreman, appreciate it. We'll continue to check in with you, Tom.
We're learning more about the suspect who again was wounded by an NYPD officer.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins with more with that. So, Shimon, I understand you're learning, first of all, the identity
of the alleged attacker. And we try to use attacker's names sparingly on this program, if at all, and we're going to do so again tonight. But since it is an active investigation, I understand that you now know his name and more about him.
[20:05:00] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. We do.
We've just learned and we've verified from multiple sources that authorities tell us, they say that his name and bear with me here is Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. He is 29 years old and we've also just learned that his home base, we've been reporting that authorities believe that he was spending time in Tampa Bay, but they are now pretty confident that home base for him, where he's been living is New Jersey.
And so, authorities there are now investigating his connections to there. They also believe that he rented the Home Depot truck, as you said earlier that was used in this attack in New Jersey. And we're also told that he's now out of surgery. And so, presumably the police and the FBI will wait until he's conscious and will try to talk to him, Anderson.
COOPER: Do we have -- obviously, this is still very hours into the investigation. Do we have any sense at this point of how or why he came to United States in the first place?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, we don't know. And that is still something that the FBI and other federal authorities and the National Counterterrorism Center are all still working through to see -- they know when he came here. That he came here in 2010, what he's been doing since then, whether he overstayed a visa or whether he was here illegally, that is all still under investigation. But I have been told by a source that he is not a U.S. citizen, and that will factor into this investigation.
COOPER: It's a rented vehicle. Is that correct? And do we know for a fact he's the one who rented it and where it exactly, what store it was rented from or at least authorities know that?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, authorities say now that they believe he's the one that rented it. They have gone to Home Depot, which is in New Jersey we're told. And they are talking to people there to try and picture -- put a picture together exactly when he rented it. You know, it is possible that he rented it -- we're told he rented the pickup truck today.
So, it could just have been hours before this incident, before this attack unfolded, because they believe he drove from New Jersey on the West Side Highway, entered this bike path and then unleashed his attack.
COOPER: Is it known -- and again it's early hours and you've been working your sources all day, is it known if this person was on the radar of law enforcement, known to law enforcement? PROKUPECZ: At this point, we have nothing, there's no information
saying that he was on anyone's radar. You know, they just -- it would appear that they're just learning about him, because that's part of why they're in New Jersey, the authorities, the NYPD and their federal partners are all in New Jersey now trying to learn more about him. But at this point, it doesn't appear -- now this could change and things tend to change -- that he was on anyone's radar.
COOPER: All right. Well, no doubt we'll learn more in the coming hours and days. Shimon, appreciate all your reporting today.
As you might imagine, President Trump has tweeted about the attack. CNN's Sara Murray joins us now from the White House with that.
So, what is the latest reaction from the president, Sara?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the president has done a number of tweets this evening responding to this horrific tragedy in New York City. In the first one, he says: NYC looks like a another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely, not in the USA.
He followed that up with another tweet about terrorism saying: we must not allow ISIS to return or enter our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough.
And then that was followed by a third one, sending his thoughts and prayers to those impacted, saying: My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of New York City terrorist attack. God and your county are with you.
And, of course, this is President Trump's hometown, New York City. And, in fact, the First Lady Melania Trump was there today for previously scheduled meetings. She also sent a tweet earlier this evening saying her heart is breaking today for New York -- Anderson.
COOPER: And, Sara, the president has referenced ISIS in those tweets. Does that mean he's been briefed and somehow has information that -- and has been briefed that there is some connection or is that an assumption?
MURRAY: He has been briefed. He has been briefed by his chief of staff John Kelly. It's unclear if he received more information than we know right know about some connection between ISIS and this attack. We also know that the president tends to draw these links more quickly than intelligence publicly does when it comes to attacks like this.
And it's also worth noting this specific tweet doesn't mention the New York City attack. We can assume this is probably what he was referring to, just given the timeliness of those events. But so far, no word from the White House in whether they may have more information than officials in New York City have been sharing with us so far.
COOPER: All right. Sara, thanks very much.
Joining us now is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has, I'm told, just been walking in tonight's Greenwich Village Halloween parade.
Governor, thanks for being with us.
First of all, your thoughts tonight on what happened here earlier today.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Well, Anderson, it was terrible. It was a tragedy.
[20:10:03] You had eight deaths. You had people walking along the west side of Manhattan, which you're very familiar with, on what is a beautiful park, the Hudson River Park. They were bicycling. They were jogging.
This was an attack that was designed to create terror, and it killed people, it frightened people. It was despicable.
But New Yorkers are resilient, New Yorkers go on. We learned the hard way in 9/11 that we are a target.
We are the international symbol of democracy and freedom and we understand that. And since 9/11, we've lived with this and we've put together the best security force on the globe in my opinion. And we worked together and the response was great.
But this afternoon was terrible. Tonight, we're at a Halloween parade to say you didn't win and you didn't affect us and we're out and we're celebrating and we're doing what New Yorkers do and we're living our lives because we're not going to allow the terrorists to win, period.
And that's why I'm here marching in the parade, not because I have a great costume.
COOPER: Well, I got to tell you it's not just folks that are in the parade, all around this neighborhood, this is the area where the attack took place, there are little kids in their Halloween costumes out with their parents trick or treating, going to parties, walking around. So, as much as people are mourning what happened here and obviously concerned and horrified what happened here, as you said, the people in this neighborhood are resilient and are continuing their lives and are not allowing this or anyone to tell them how to live their lives or to stop living their lives.
At this point, to you, Governor, do you believe this attacker was acting alone or is there any information this person may have been part of a larger cell?
CUOMO: All the evidence we have suggests that he was acting alone, the so-called lone wolf syndrome. You have to remember a couple years ago, they telegraph this, that they were going to go to individual acts. They said use a knife, use a car, use a truck, use whatever you can get. That's what this was.
He rented a truck, drove the truck into Manhattan and the first place was on the west side of Manhattan and went down the bike path from Houston Street to where he wound up, and created mayhem. But we have no evidence whatsoever that this was anything other than a
person acting individually. We have no evidence whatsoever that it's connected to anyone or anything or there were any other follow up measures. Now, it's only been a few hours, the investigation is ongoing but we have no evidence otherwise.
And as far as people coming out with their kids celebrating, I encourage that. I've been saying all day they should do just that because that is what they're trying to accomplish. And we can't let the terrorists win.
COOPER: Governor, and again I know it's early hours and there's a lot unknown, do you have a sense if this person was on any law enforcement radar, if this person was known to authorities previously?
CUOMO: It's -- it's too early -- it's too early to give you a definitive answer on that, Anderson.
COOPER: OK. Can you tell us anything about those that were killed? I know CNN has confirmed some of the fatalities, include nationals from Argentina and Belgium.
Can you give us any additional information about those who lost their lives or those who are hospitalized with injuries about how they're doing?
CUOMO: Well, beyond the eight deaths, they're still in the process of contacting families and talking to family members. It's the west side of Manhattan, it is what we call the bike path but it's a pedestrian path.
You get a lot of tourists as you know, a lot of bicyclists. And you had a just a mix of New Yorkers. Tourists, young people, bicyclist.
The truck was stopped when it hit a school bus and two children were on the school bus. And they were injured but not seriously, thank God.
COOPER: And finally, Governor, I know the lights at One World Trade are -- they're red, white and blue tonight, I think it was you who called for that.
[20:15:00] What do you want when people see that as they can from all over Manhattan, especially here in Lower Manhattan, when they look up, what do you want them to think?
CUOMO: One World Trade Center was 9/11. It was the darkest day that we went through in New York, but what we did is we got right back up and didn't let them win. And we built back bigger, better and stronger than ever before, that's who we are. And if you think you're going to beat us, you're wrong.
And if you think these terrorist attacks are going to put a dent in the New York spirit, you're wrong. And New York, America is about freedom and it is about democracy and will always be. And whatever attack you think you can bring is going to fail because our spirit is stronger than theirs.
COOPER: Governor Cuomo, I know it's been a difficult day and a long one. I appreciate your time today. Thank you very much.
CUOMO: Thank you very much for having me, Anderson.
COOPER: We're going to be following late developments on this, of course, throughout the program, of course, and throughout the night. Over the next two hours.
Coming up next, what one eyewitness saw as our coverage continues from here in Lower Manhattan.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're live in Lower Manhattan.
The top of One World Trade Center as we just talked about with the governor lit up in red, white, and blue tonight. A tribute to the strength and endurance of New Yorkers and a tribute to eight people who lost their lives down here, and there's others who are wounded.
We just got a new photo of the suspect taken by my guest here, Christiaan Wagener, and he joins us now.
[20:20:05] Christiaan, thanks so much for being with us.
CHRISTIAAN WAGENER, EYEWITNESS: You're welcome.
COOPER: Where -- when did you realize something was going terribly wrong?
WAGENER: I was walking through the subway on Chambers Street, and I was approaching the intersection of west, which has the bike path right next to it.
So I was maybe about 100 feet away from the intersection there. I saw the car coming down or the truck coming down the bike path really, really fast. And it was mowing things down. I didn't even realize at the time what it really was, it was bike riders.
COOPER: You actually saw it hitting bike riders?
WAGENER: I saw it hitting, yes. But my brain didn't compute, it was actually people it was hitting because I heard these horrible noises, bang, bang, bang.
COOPER: It's obviously not something you expect to see happening.
WAGENER: No, no. And so -- but I saw an undercover car chasing it. I thought it was somebody trying to get away from the cops. You know like whatever they did trying to run away. But on the bike path, that was strange. Then, the bus came from the other side and --
COOPER: The school bus? WAGENER: Yes, and he hits and started going up in the air and it was
coming straight at me. So, I started running back to where I came from.
COOPER: What you're saying -- the vehicle started going straight --
WAGENER: The vehicle starting coming up like that. And so I started running this way. There were kids all around me because school was just letting out.
So, I started running pushing them this way, get out, get out. They started moving back. And then the truck landed really hard. I turned around to look at the truck and I thought I should take a picture, just document the wreck in case anybody needs it.
And then I saw the driver, I assume it was the driver, standing next to the truck with his arms down. And he started raising his arms, that's after I took the picture. And then I saw guns in both hands.
So then I yelled guns. And I started pushing and running towards the corner, I said, get around the corner, get around the corner.
COOPER: Were people yelling or?
WAGENER: Not that much.
WAGENER: Not that much. Actually, a few of the little kids started yelling "guns" they saw it. I looked at the guns and thought they actually looked very odd. It wasn't a gun I recognized.
COOPER: Because in one of the photos you took, I zoomed into it and you could see the person standing there with what looked like two guns in his hands.
WAGENER: Two guns, yes. He had two guns in his hands. And as he started raising them and I said oh my gosh I got to get out of here. So, I yelled guns and all the kids started moving.
But not as much as they could and there was a lot of them and they started running down the street. And I said run around the corner, run around the corner, so, you know, you can't get shot.
COOPER: Did you -- did you see the -- you said there had been a chase vehicle, like an undercover vehicle chasing them.
COOPER: Did you see them at that point?
WAGENER: No, I didn't see them. No, I just turned -- the minute I realized somebody was standing there with guns, it was like get out of here. You know, I was trying to move as many people out as I could.
COOPER: Do you know -- did the person fire the guns? WAGENER: I went around the corner.
WAGENER: Once I got around the corner, I heard gunshots. But actually the odd thing was when I saw those guns, I thought I'd never seen those guns before, that type or style.
COOPER: It was a paint gun and a pellet gun.
WAGENER: Yes, when I was looking at that, I felt man, the board, the rifle was kind of big but who knows? You know, they make all guns and stuff now. So, I was --
COOPER: So, the shots you heard could have been the police shooting?
WAGENER: The police, yes, yes. It's really hard to tell how many shots because it was echoing and the tall buildings around there. So, I'm not really sure how many shots.
COOPER: And then did you leave the scene? Did you stay?
WAGENER: Because I didn't know what else was going on I just said to everybody, get out of here, get back to your buildings. Just get out of here. So everybody dispersed, and they locked down the buildings. They locked all the doors and everybody.
But that took a while, because, you know, even though we were saying things to people, there was no news of it yet. I mean, it just has happened.
WAGENER: So, everybody was kind of like, OK, how many people are involved, what's gung on. You don't know exactly what's going on at the time.
COOPER: I appreciate you talking to us about what you saw, and also the presence of taking a photo and also telling those kids to get out. It's --
WAGENER: Yes. Well, as I said, the kids recognized it too as danger.
WAGENER: They were quite quick about it too. Everybody kind of started moving around.
COOPER: I'm glad you're (INAUDIBLE).
OK. Thank you so much, Christiaan. I wish you the best. I appreciate it. Thank you, Christiaan Wagener.
Joining us now is CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
Paul, these vehicle attacks, you and I have talked about this. It feels like over the years, at least, very prevalent in Europe. We've seen six in the last year alone in Europe. This certainly fits a pattern.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It certainly does. And it's something, Anderson, that ISIS has been encouraging and so al Qaeda had been encouraging because these attacks are so devastating.
In Nice, the worst attacks took place with 86 people being killed. We really saw the full force of how bad these attacks could be. In that case, a truck went along the Promenade des Anglais for more than a mile, similar distance to what we saw in New York.
[20:25:04] And in that case the driver in the Nice attack also had a fake gun and had a fake grenade in fact as well.
And the reason for this in a lot of these cases is because these jihadis want to die, they want to be struck by law enforcement. They see that as allowing them to attain paradise.
But there is certainly a trend. We've seen a couple of vehicle attacks which have been deadly here in the U.K. One Stockholm involving an Uzbek. Berlin and the list goes on and on. In fact, there was one in the United States in the fall of last year in Ohio State where an ISIS inspired terrorist --
COOPER: Yes, I remember that.
CRUICKSHANK: -- actually drove into a crowd of people in Columbus, Ohio and shot dead by law enforcement. This is going to carry on and it's very difficult to protect against. You can bollards up and things like that in areas where there are a lot of crowds.
But the terrorist can sort of just do a bit of reconnaissance, see where there are gaps and in any society that we're going to live in, you just cannot protect against these kind of attacks. It's as simple of getting hold of a truck and somebody with a driver's license.
COOPER: Yes, if you look now in Time Square in New York which is obviously heavily -- there's a lot of foot traffic there, they have now put up those barriers on the street so it's very difficult for any vehicles to get on to the street.
Paul, I appreciate talking to you. Sorry it's under these circumstances. We'll talk to you again.
More on these vehicle attacks and how to prevent them coming up when we continue.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're in Lower Manhattan, not far from the World Trade Center and the 9/11 memorial.
More now on what Paul Cruickshank and I were talking about before, we went to break using vehicle as deadly weapons in terror attacks. Gary Tuchman has more on that tonight. And got to warn you there is some graphic footage in this report.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bastille Day in France just last year. A fireworks display just ended in Nice. A terrorist, a Tunisian national driving his rented truck strikes and kills 86 people as he plows through the pedestrian in high speed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a choice to jump to my right or jump to my left because the truck was swerving. So I had to make a decision, which way to jump. I decided to jump to my left. And thank God I did because if I didn't I would have been dead.
TUCHMAN: More than 400 people were hurt in the 2016 attack. The terrorist was shot and killed. Nice was the deadliest of recent vehicle terror attacks but there have been many more.
In August of this year, 13 people died about 100 hurt in Barcelona. A van plowed through a crowd of people in a popular tourist area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw it plow into, you know, the merchants and pedestrians, I saw people flying over the vehicle. You know, just flying, you know, all around the vehicle. And it was just a really, really hard scene of immediate carnage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on come on.
TUCHMAN: Two suspects who are arrested but the driver gets away and has never been caught. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack.
In Berlin, Germany, six days before last Christmas, a tractor trailer barrels into a Christmas market killing 12 people. A man hunt and sues (ph) for the drive, who got away. Four days after the attack the Tunisian man is shot and killed. ISIS later releases a video of the man pledging allegiance to the terrorist group.
London has three separate attacks this year including two in June. Twelve people in total were killed in those attacks that took place along the Westminster Bridge, the London Bridge, and outside a mosque. They've been previously taxed in the United States too.
Back in 2006 at the University of North Carolina nine people are hurt when a man drives an SUV into an area crowded with students, the driver who was convicted of attempted murder said it was retribution for Muslims being killed overseas, 10 years later in 2016 11 people were injured at Ohio State University when student carried our a car and knife attack.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard the chaos, shouts, scream, shots.
TUCHMAN: An Ohio State police officer shot and killed the attacker, and police believe was inspired by ISIS. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Perspective now from our law enforcement and also our national security experts. I want to welcome CNN Investigative Reporter and International Affairs Editor Michael Weiss, Phil Mudd, formerly FBI and CIA, Retired FBI Supervisor Special Agent James Gagliano and former CIA Analyst, Nada Bakos.
James, I mean, you know this area very well. When -- this is the kind of attack. It's a very hard things to prevent against unless you're going to put up, you know, extensions on every street corners it's almost impossible to stop people if they're determined to drive a vehicle into a pedestrian are or bike --
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, Anderson, and just over our shoulders where the path of the driver ended right over here in Chamber Street. This is not far from the FBI office, 26 Federal Plaza, New York places that that many of us have run or driven through to get to the west side highway.
We know he traveled from north to south so there was easy access way to that pedestrian walk way. And what I think is going to happen, I know we're resistant to doing it, Anderson, because we want to continue to live our lives and not allowed terrorism to influence how we act but those expansions you're talking about, the barriers, they're concrete balers. And you're going to start see it. It's already happening in Europe and you're probably going to start seeing it in major metropolitan areas in the United States, the emplacement of those to separation vehicular traffic from large pedestrian congregation areas.
COOPER: Phil, just in terms of the investigation, where it is right now. Where is going to go? I mean, what are the next couple of days look like?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, you got an explosion right now. We know we have a name, that name means I have things like an internet identity. I can start check everything from this Google searches to who he s emailing, who is calling. But that sounds easy, Anderson. Then it explodes into things like where did you live a year ago? Where did you live two years ago?
I got to interview not only friend and families but neighbors, people he might have worked with two years ago. So as you see the rush to judgment about what motivated -- whether he's a terrorist. Behind the scenes people are holding off of it, saying I got a lot of work to do to figure out not only what happened in the past but what was going on in these guys' mind.
[20:35:02] COOPER: You know, people -- you look in the fact he yelled out Allahu Akbar. You know, and law enforcement has already said they are investigating this as a terrorist incident?
MUDD: That's an investigate term, that's not a fact. I can be 95 percent confidence as a public citizen about what happened here. I think this is terrorism. Think about some additional questions. What happened in his workplace, what happened in his immediate family, does he have a drug history, does he have a mental health history? I think as a public citizen you can be confident this is terrorism as a practice -- I would say, hold on a minute here. I'm not sure yet. COOPER: Michael, this person is from Uzbekistan, is there a long history of Uzbeks involved in terror attacks?
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: There is. And also not just from Uzbekistan, from all the former Soviet Union countries. I remember interviewing a former ISIS operative in Istanbul, a few weeks before the Paris attack. And he told me -- these guys are referred to us Echichens (ph), which is kind of a grab bag encompassing term, which mean everybody who speaks Russian, who's from either Russia or Dagestan, the North Caucasus or indeed Central Asian countries.
And he said these guys were the most respected and also feared among ISIS's upper padres that when they would come to Raqqa sort of meetings with the central command ISIS would post snipers on the rooftop in case these guys got out of hand or attempted a coup that how where battle trained they were and sort of feared.
And also, look, the former ISIS War Ministers going back to two of them now, the guy that was just killed by the coalition reportedly was a tragic, special forces operator trained by the U.S. State Department brought to the United States at least three times as part of this program taunted the Americans on camera when he pledged allegiance to ISIS saying I'm going to use all the tools and skills that you trained me up on to kill Muslims and bring bloodshed to your country.
And his predecessor of course was Shishani, a Georgian Special forces operator who fought against Russia in 2008, also reportedly trained by the U.S. So another aspect of this, a lot of these guys coming from the former Soviet Union have military or intelligence training from their native country. That's what makes them so good at conducting this act of having terror.
COOPER: Nada, given the suspect is foreign national, from Uzbekistan, does the full force of U.S. intelligence community kick in at this point and where do they focus?
NADA BAKOS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know, the (INAUDIBLE) is been in the United States for seven years. He probably qualified as U.S. person. He would have elements of the intelligence community looking at whether or not there were ties overseas. But his ties are possibly domestically.
In addition to the fact that not only as Phil mentioned before, you're looking at all the circumferences of connections around him. You're also trying to decipher what his background was prior to the seven years that he spent in the United States.
COOPER: It's also interesting, obviously his ability to rent this vehicle. He heard from John Miller, the NYPD earlier today saying, that as a routine NYPD goes out to all the rental truck places, you know, some 200 or so of them. I don't know if they would done that in New Jersey but in New York, and just kind of talks to them about what to be on the lock out for.
GAGLIANO: Absolutely. That basically happens after the 1995 in the attack, Timothy McVeigh attack on the federal building, up in Murrah Federal building that started. We started reaching out and saying, if somebody's buying too much diesel fuel, or fertilizer or a box drug, something doesn't makes sense, we need to follow up on it.
Anderson, there is three things we got to be focus on right now. The first is, the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The oldest one in the country is right here in New York City. I guarantee you they're seating outside this guy's hospital bed right now waiting for him to come out of surgery to be able to talk to him for leads.
The second is the crime scene right over our shoulder here.
COOPER: And by the way, he is out of surgery --
GAGLIANO: He is at surgery and I'm sure they're talking to him. The crime scene in trying hard is as much forensic evidence obviously going in find out where he rented the van from and trying to piece together more clues.
New York City, the air wind right now is covered by cameras. They'll go back on that. And lastly to Michael's point, the FBI has legal attache. The NYPD has contacts there as well, and the embassy in Kazakhstan because they will work this out of Kazakhstan. We know he is in Uzbek, they're going to have legal attache, piece together still pointed out his complete profile and background to find out what caused him to do this.
COOPER: All right, we're going to take a quick break. I know we're going to have all of you back in the short-term tonight. One quick item, the FBI wants your help. They have set up actually a tip line. The toll-free numbers 1-800 CALL FBI. That's 1-800-225-5321 if you have any information about this person select option one. You do not have to give your name, they point out. Again that's 1-800-225-5321. You do not have to give your name, select option one, we're told.
We're going to take a quick break. We're going to have a lot more ahead with our panel of experts and a lot more about what happened here earlier today. We'll be right back.
[20:43:22] COOPER: We just got new information on the suspect's possible motivation and allegiance. For that I want to go Shimon Prokupecz. He is back with us. Shimon what have you learned?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, that's right, Anderson. So we just learned that the suspect, the van that was driving his truck left a note. In that note we're told by a senior law enforcement official that he claimed he did this attack, he went on this attack in the name of ISIS. I'm told by law enforcement officials that the note was found near the truck, it was in English and the authorities are now have reviewed it. They're also waiting for search warrants to search through the truck. But right now it's very clear at least to authorities what the motive is in this attack.
COOPER: And that was a note found in the vehicle itself not on his person?
PROKUPECZ: That's correct. I'm told that the note was found somewhere around the truck, somewhere around the vehicle. I asked if it was found inside this law enforcement. Source was best to say around the truck. So it may have been something that he dropped or maybe fell out as he ran, as we see him running in video, it could have been somebody he dropped during that time.
COOPER: All right, Shimon again, I appreciate all your reporting.
Back now with panel, Michael Weiss, Phil Mudd, James, James Gagliano and Nada Bakos.
Nada, I'm wondering how that -- does that mean -- I mean, if he has a note saying he pledge his allegiance to ISIS or inspired by ISIS. Does that mean that he likely had contact or it's just somebody whose spir rational, who, you know, watch videos, learn stuff online saw -- read, you know, what they were saying you should go and take a vehicle and attack however you can?
[20:45:04] BAKOS: You know, it could be either. And unfortunately ISIS has given enough information online to people who are inspired by them to conduct these types of attacks.
We've been talking for years as Michael had talked about there has been --people coming from the Caucuses joining al-Qaeda in Iraq with predecessor to ISIS then also moving into the ISIS organization when they started to flourish. So this has been an ongoing issue.
So this is -- if he's coming from Uzbek, Uzbekistan he's been here for seven years. He could have had contact prior to coming to this country and then nothing since then. It's very hard to tell. And unfortunately, the onus is really on the law enforcement intelligence organizations at this point, which is very, very far into the radicalization process.
COOPER: In terms of the investigation, does that note change things in your mind, Phil?
MUDD: It does. You have to assume that there is connectivity, even if you're talking to them. You draw a judgment that maybe it's not but you got to assume at the outset that there is some more significant conspiracy improves the negative. So it's going to change in few ways.
Number one --
COOPER: So you have to assume that there is and then prove that there isn't?
MUDD: That's right. You don't want to go into this thing. He looks a little shaky. I think he went off and determine three days later you're incorrect. So you want to go in this and look at, at least the cue angles that I'm thinking as a result of the note.
Number one, is he communicating with people who are other ISIS sympathizers who might have seen this and said now I'm going to act, for example, on Facebook as he travels.
Seven years in the United States we got to create what he's done in those seven years. In that travel had he talked to somebody who is an ISIS sympathizer?
And then another top one, I want to know if somebody radicalized him. Did someone convince him that ISIS was the true path because I want to know if that radicalizer had other contacts in the United States who are looking in this tonight saying, I want to do the same thing.
GAGLIANO: And to Phil's point he's talking about the digital exhaust that his social media platform, what he's Google searching, all those kind of things that investigators reporting over.
The other piece is the physical evidence. We know that we have a note now. Was it in his handwriting? Was somebody else's handwriting? The analysis would go through that and then the hair and fiber analysis that will be done in the inside that van.
To your point, first you want to make sure that there's no more imminent attacks and you want to make sure that there's not a conspiracies after this, other folks that help him do this.
COOPER: Michael, from -- I mean, I remember looking at the Garland attack there were some ISIS recruiters, was one in Raqqa who I think ended up being killed in the drone strike. There was one in Somalia, they're -- I think they're part of group (INAUDIBLE) which kind of -- and tried to encourage people over Twitter and other social media.
If ISIS is now on the run and being defeated overseas, has that gone away or are there plenty of people in the United States who b could be encouraging and perhaps enabling?
WEISS: It's not going away. I mean, ISIS has made contingency plans for the collapse of the so called caliphate going back even before the caliphate was announced in 2014.
They're repairing now to the desert bad land regions of the Euphrates River Valley, Alhambra province in Iraq, in Paris or in Syria but make no mistake. They had already dispatched sleeper cells and operate into Europe and the west and indeed I'm sure, Central Asia and Russia to kind of buy their time and wait to plan and coordinate attacks like this.
Now to Phil's point what language was this guy talking to other people possibly in, was it Russian, was it Arabic, was it English? If he came to the United States, seven years ago, 2010 maybe and lived in Florida, was he part of a Diaspora community? You're going to see FBI camped out to discuss -- address in Florida, trying to figure out everybody he talked to, what kind of mosque he must gone to. But keep in mind you no longer have to reach Raqqa H.Q. to be a part of ISIS. These guys are far flung all over the world including in the Asia Pacific.
And some of this semi-autonomous or indeed actually autonomous cells function without ever having to coordinate with the ISIS leadership, which is now kind of on the run or death so.
COOPER: A lot more to learn. We're going to continue covering this. I want to thank everybody. Nada again, welcome to CNN. It's really an honor to have you here with us at CNN. We'll talk more with you ahead.
Up next, more on what we know about the man in this video, the alleged attacker. Police now have him in custody. The question is what happens to him next. We'll be right back.
[20:53:01] COOPER: Law enforcement sources say that the suspect in today's attack is a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan who came to the United States in 2010. He was shot by police, taken into custody alive and had surge this evening. A source tells CNN he is now out of surgery. We are told, the question now is what happens next.
Joining me is CNN Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. In term of he get out of surgery, does -- I mean, is he ready -- is he Mirandized?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: No. And I think this is been very controversial. There is what's called a public safety exception to the Miranda Rule. The Miranda Rule for most people know is when people are arrested they are told they have the right to remain silent. They have a right to a lawyer. But when there's a significant threat to public safety, as a situation like this obviously is, police are allowed to ask a series of questions about public safety. Was anyone else involved, are there bombs anywhere else, before the Miranda Warnings are given.
Now, the question of how long that questioning can go on is sometimes controversial but it not controversial at this point. The supreme has said that Miranda does not have to given, Miranda Warning immediately after. So as soon as he comes out of anesthesia, I'm sure they will start asking him questions.
COOPER: So -- but if he refuses to say anything and ask for a lawyer, what happens?
TOOBIN: End of story. I mean, then he has to -- that has to be honored. But, you know, you can't force him to talk. You can't torture someone. But you don't have to offer him a lawyer. You don't have to tell him that he has the right to remain silent. The way a suspect does.
COOPER: You were actually down here in the -- in One World Trade at the -- from these offices early.
TOOBIN: Right. I worked for the New Yorker as well, and we were on the 38th floor. And I didn't see the attacks takes place, but shortly thereafter I saw. And, you know, the first question of course that's on everyone's minds is was he headed towards the World Trade Center. I mean, he was headed in that direction but whether this was meant to be another terror attack at the World Trade Center obviously is a question on a lot of people's minds. [20:55:05] And you know, we're only about four blocks away. So we got pretty close.
COOPER: Yes, and as the governor was saying, it's lit up red, white, and blue tonight.
TOOBIN: Which, you know, I have to say one of the things I love about being a New Yorker is how resilient people are. And you know, here we are, a lot of cameras, but there a lot of people walking by in Halloween costumes too.
COOPER: I was saying that earlier to the governor that I kind of thought this whole area might have been like lock down and people would be -- yes, there's kids walking around and it's nice.
TOOBIN: It is, you know, I mean, it's nice except it may mean that we're getting used to it, which is --
COOPER: You don't want it to stop letting people live their lives.
TOOBIN: And that's the great thing about New York. I mean, I came here from the subway. And, one block away from here you wouldn't know anything was not normal except people are dressed up.
COOPER: Yes. Jeff Toobin, I appreciate it. Thanks very much. I like your costume. That's your legal analyst costume.
In addition to what we said, the lights in the One World Trade Center are red, white, and blue. Just a few blocks away, people further up town. You can also look up for some red, white and blue inspiration. The Empire State building also lit up. The site no less welcome. We'll be back in a minute.