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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 17, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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heard multiple shots, kate, and then people basically injured in the restaurant. so very, very worrying. very concerting, a tense and chaotic scene. >> chaotic as we speak. reports of a van plowing into a crowd of people in barcelona, to recap. injuries. we don't know what kind, how many, how serious they are. sounds like it could be ongoing as we speak. we're going to pass off our special coverage over to john king. this will continue. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." breaking news. troubling breaking news. watching this unfold as we speak in spain. spanish police telling cnn an apparent, apparent -- terror attack. a van plowing into a crowd of people in central barcelona. it happened at a popular tourist area, which since and now been sealed off. police say several people have been hit, and the police warning people to stay away from this
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area until told otherwise. reuters reporting based on local spanish media two armed men have entered a nearby restaurant. getting details on this just coming in to us. early story unfolding. get what we know now. latest from cnn international correspondent isa suarez in london. conflicting reports, isa, where are we? >> reporter: hearing from a spokesperson now, john, from the police basically telling us this is most likely -- the words -- a terror attack. what we know thus far, we know that a van, a white van with blue writing, plowed into a group of people in plaza cataluna in barcelona, a very popular area in barcelona. mounted the sidewalk plowing into a group of people. we know there are injuries. we've seen video and footage of people lying on the ground. we do not know how many injured. we do not know how serious those
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injuries are. we also know that local authorities there have closed off the area, john. they have closed off the metro. they have also expanded the perimeter around barcelona, and then we have suddenly been hearing that those men behind who were driving, reportedly driving that van, just left the van, according to one witness and then went into a restaurant in the area, in a popular area of el barcelona. went into a restaurant. a witness said they heard gunshots, an explosion and a dozen people screaming, they said, and several injuries. we do not know how many more, but this is very worrying for the spanish people, very worrying, because this is the height of summer, very popular time, of course, for tourists to visit barcelona. just putting it into perspective for people, it's very close to
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the sacred family, the beautiful church there, and it is packed with tourists on a summer day pap street lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, and we have heard from the prime minister who has said in the last few minutes the most important aspect of this right now is to facilitate and help those who have been injured, but also he made the point, john, try and help the authorities into figuring out who is behind this. the fact they've expanded the perimeter and the fact we're now hearing these men have reportedly, according to the witness, have gone into this restaurant, is very worrying. authorities there taking this extremely seriously. >> isa, police saying most likely, most likely, obviously, the police themselves would tell you in such a situation, be careful. most likely a terrorist attack. you're in london. watching a scene unfold in barcelona.
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across europe this will cause a chill. yet another vehicle being used apparently to ram into a crowd of people in a crowded, popular area. >> reporter: absolutely. apologies for looking down. trying to get the late effort and translate the latest from the prime minister. he basically is saying that he's in contact with all the administrations. the important thing now the priorities, tend to the injured here and really facilitate the work of the security forces. we've also been hearing from local spanish television and witnesses inside that restaurant that i was telling you, and two basically -- we're hearing from two, three, people, that are hiding inside in a restaurant. extremely worrying. to recap for those watching, this is a hot summer day. beautiful summer day, as you can see there, in barcelona. we know that a white van with blue writing founded a pavement
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in plaza cataluna leading to los ramblos and plowed into a group of people injury people there. we do not know the number of injury, but i have seen footage and photos of people lying on the ground. now, the police have closed off the local metro, the transportation area, around that area, but also expanded the transcri perimeter, john. asking people to stay away from the area, stay away from social media and stay away from posting any videos or images on twitter. we've also heard from the security services there. we know eight ambulances are on the scene. helicopters are also on the scene, but it is worrying, because this van that crashed into, plowed into this group of people, was then abandoned according to one witness, john, and then these two individuals went into a restaurant in this
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area of los ramblos, very popular, of course, to its restaurants and its bars and there a witness tells us they heard an explosion and people are now hiding inside that restaurant. authorities saying this is most likely -- the words -- a terror attack, john. >> reporting from london. stand by. get back to you soon as you have new information. authorities asking people to stay away unless you're in that region. the protection agency, tweeting, in this area in barcelona, stay where you are until police tell you you can leave. getting this from the u.s. consulate there. we are "aware of a reported incident in barcelona. avoid the area and monitor local police." the twitter handle, for updates. that to americans. cnn terrorism expert peter bergen is with us on the phone. peter, obviously, the police, early indication they say most likely a terror attack.
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you heard from isa florez. local police saying two armed men apparently. i stress, we're very early in this. often details change as the story develops. two armed men hiding, taking refuge in a restaurant and again a white van described as ramming into a crowd in a popular tourist area. sadly, that part of it, something quite like it, we have heard, too often in the past. >> yeah, john. i make three overall points here. this is the 14th vehicle attack, terrorist attack, we've seen in the west since 2014. most of them have been jihadist terrorist attacks but obviously the charlottesville attack by a right-wing extremist just in the past week and also the attack in london with a car outside of a mosque ramming a group of muslims celebrating ramadan, killing one. so, you know, terrorists learn from other terrorist incidents. it's a bit like school shooting
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where is there are copycats and this mode of terror attack is becoming frequent, obviously requires training to do these kinds of attacks. that's the first point i'd make. the second point if you're to look at what are the cast of potential kind of perpetrators of this attack in spain. obviously, a basque terrorist pob, eta, acquiescent for some time and also a jihadist problem. i observed that spain has not had the same level of problem we've seen in france or belgium, even countries like germany or the united kingdom. i mean, i'm hard pressed to think of a jihadi terrorist attack since the 2004 attack in madrid that killed 194 people, but certainly those are the two groups that are the most likely in the spanish context. and the third observation is, you know, the reports of this --
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two of the perpetrators taking up, entering a restaurant. unfortunately, this leads us into a potential armed siege, which can go on for a long time. we've seen this method, you know, many times. most prominently with the taj hotel attack in india, jihadists barricade themselves inside a hotel, kill add number of patrons basically fought to the death in order to sustain media coverage of the event for as long as possible. so those are the three observations i'd make about what we know right now, john. >> and stay with me one second, peter, because the point you made is an important one. anybody watching, local authorities in barcelona and not in that area, stay away, they're urging. in barcelona, still in that area, urging you to seek guidance from authorities to not move about in a way on your own. seek guidance before you do. peter, just from your experience, as we watch this
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unfold, you mentioned the possibility now of some, you know, obviously a large police presence will come to that scene. perhaps a hunt or manhunt or siege around the restaurant. if it is true those two armed men are in there. take us through what your instincts about what we're about to see unfold? >> unfortunately the people who perpetrated this attack already went into it knowing there would about fight to the death. they've seen the -- these kind of attacks in the past where people, whether it's the taj hotel situation in india, from several years back, but that was really the beginning of this idea of, you know, let's go in, take hostages. let's fight to the death. let's continue the media coverage for as long as possible. you recall, john, that the taj siege went on three days. garnering a huge amount of publicity for the pakistani-based terrorists who carried out the attack. and then we've seen similar
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incidents in bangladesh more recently a group of terrorists went into a restaurant popular for locals and took hostages, killed hostages and kept the story going for as long as they could before they were killed by law enforcement. so, you know, early days yet, but if this is a jihadist terrorist attack, which is not impossible, that may well be the modus operandi of the people behind the attack, essentially go into the mission believing they're going to quote/unquote martyr themselves and are willing to fight to the death to sustain media coverage as long as possible. >> stay with me. bring in viewers and details we're getting. barcelona, remember a thriving city. 1.7 million people, accounts from witnesses starting to trickle in. one witness says, hiding in a shop nearby, heard gunshots. according to local media tv e-24. that station. another witness saw a van
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driving about 80 kilometers we are hour. no doubt, this witness saying it is intention. again, these are early witness accounts, peter, but apparently reports of gunshots, report of someone saying, he has now doubt it is intentional. we've started the conversation. we have seen this, sadly. seen it in london a couple of times. in paris. seen it in stockholm, in brussels. you mentioned it's more rare in the case of spain. obviously, a thriving western city. that could be one reason. is there something unique to spanish domestic politics we should also be thinking about? one thing, john, the flow of foreign fighters, so-called foreign fighters from europe into syria and iraq. the countries with the big numbers, 1,500 from france. 750 from belgium, obviously a relatively small country. 750 from germany. same kind of number, figures, from britain. spain has had a relatively small number, compared to other european countries, of people
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volunteering to go and fight with isis in syria and iraq. one of the reasons we haven't seen, you know, so much jihadist terrorist activity in spain. so, you know, that is one factor here, but you can't completely discount the idea this might be baath separatists. that's less likely but certainly not impossible. baath separatists have been somewhat quiescent in reasons years. and their organization has been largely dismantled by spanish authorities, but generally they would also be potential suspects in this case, john. >> peter bergen, stay with us. trying to get additional reporting as well. those just joining us, what we know so far -- witnesses saw a van in this area. seeing the picture on the right of your screen. white van crash into a crowd of people in the main square at the beginning, right at a pedestrian walkway area, los ramblos area in barcelona. the situation very tense.
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one eyewitness saying he's heard gunshots. another witnesses saw the gran driving around 80 kilometers we are hour and says, "there is no doubt it was intentional." an eyewitness account. we're awaiting information from the spanish authorities. we are told number one, they are responding to the scene. you see some of that in the pictures you see there. and two, urging people. remember, barcelona a thriving city and popular tourist attraction this time of year urging people to stay away. don't go there our curiosity and telling people still in the area to be very careful to not move about in any random way and seek the guidance of the authorities responding to the scene. reporters are trying to get more information on this, but peter bergen, that it took such a short period of time for the authorities to say very likely a terrorist attack. peter, stand by. on the phone an eyewitness, pablo morane. this is john king speaking to
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you from washington. please, tell me, where you were, and exactly what you saw. >> caller: yeah. i was -- at the ramblos inside the booth when the attack happened. and we saw a lot of people running all directions, and the police -- began to [ inaudible ] very quickly. so -- [ inaudible ] -- >> pablo, we're having trouble with the phone senate and will try to improve the connection to continue the conversation with you. please work with ow producers in the control room. we'll find a way to get that signal and brick you back. bring you back. peter bergen, as we do that, police raeshgted quickly. saying likely a terrorist attack. you see reports from the scene.
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two armed men entering a restaurant after a van hits a crowd. vehicles, vehicles have become a recur kg part of these stories. especially in these populated western cities. >> yeah. 14 vehicle attacks since 2014, john. almost -- 12 of them jihadi terror attacks, isis-inspired. unfortunately the death toll pretty high. you recall, of course, the nice, france attack on bastille day july 14th that killed 84 people. recall the berlin market attack that killed 12 people. and so, you know -- if the perpetrator, as what seems to be the case in this case harks a large enough vehicle a van and accelerates at 80 kilometers an hour into a crowd the tourist region, that crowd, a crowded tourist spot unfortunately you're going to see quite a number of injuries and even
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fatalities. >> you can see from the pictures, with us the past few minutes, the police presence. more vehicles, more officers, as this situation unfolds. and in most of these cases, am i right, peter, when it's been a terrorist attack using a vehicle, in most cases it has ban singular attack? one vehicle? obviously, one of the questions police will have in the region, is there something else? part of something bigger? in most of these cases, this is why they're so hard to, a., advance detect and, b., stop as they play out. two or three people in a vehicle and ram a crowd. >> right. quite a number of these have been so-called lone wolf or lone actor attacks. in this case, two perpetrators, reminds me of the attack, john, on london bridge where they rammed into people on the bridge and then they went over to an area near london bridge and tried to attack people in neighboring pubs. and it was a group of -- more than one person. so terrorists, like school
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shooters, learn from prevention incidents and study them and unfortunately this seems to be a mix of two different tactics. the vehicle attack that kills or maims quite a number of people and then essentially setting up a barricade, siege situation inside of a restaurant, and sort of sustaining the media coverage for as long as possible, because they, unfortunately, will likely take hostages and try and spin this out for as long as possible. >> all right. those are the details we're trying to get. you're listening to the voice of peter bergen, our cnn terrorism analyst. peter notes we are told by authorities -- well, told by witnesses. two men apparently leaving a van after it rammed into a crowd. we're trying to get the scope of injuries. we're told there are many. the two men ran into a restaurant and are trying to take hostages to pro voekvoke a standoff? we're trying to learn that.
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and on the phone chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. any information about what happened and just about the histories in this area. obviously, u.s. agencies joining other allied agencies trying to get and share as much information as they can. what do we know? >> reporter: i was speaking, john, to european security sources and of course their initial read, an act of terrorism. bears all the hallmarks. a couple notes about barcelona. barcelona has a militant population there that security authorities are aware of. it is isolated. it is hard to penetrate, as they often are. there are a lot of pakistani immigrants, moroccans. the pakistanis with ties to itiba, a large, very powerful pakistani terrorist group that carried out horrific attacks in pakistan. >> jim, i want to jump in.
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sorry, apaup jis. apologies. new frfrgs in tv e-24 state-run television in spain now saying at least one person has been killed. 20 injured in what they say is most likely, probably, a terrorist attack. my apologies. jim sciutto continue. >> no problem at all. the other point i make, when you look at the modus operandi here, this looks very similar to the steak in london attack in london. started with a ramming attack and the men went through the market with knives and attacked more. it appears these men may have guns, maybe gunshots are coming from authorities, regardless, it fits that kind of pattern. but this is a community there that authorities have been aware of -- [ muted ] --
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and, again, it fits that kind of pattern. >> jim, to that point when counterterrorist agencies around the world have these attacks, lessons in paris and in london. watching this scene unfold, early information will change over the course of the hours and days ahead, obviously. have there been any, in these conversations, any new conversations about how? this is so hard. i was discussing with peter bergen, two or three people. you don't need a lot of planning. get into a van. go to a popular tourist site as we have here in central barcelona. what is the conversation among counterterrorism and security officials about what, if anything, i think if anything is the hard part, they can do to try to stop these? >> you know, one point is this -- clearly after the terrorist attacks in november of 2015, there have been a lot of criticism about the lack of
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sufficient intel sharing among the european intelligence agencies. and even some questionable sharing inside countries, that the police weren't talking to the intel services, et cetera. since then, and i heard this from u.s. intelligence officials and also european. their sharing has been a lot better prp doing a better job of that. remember, when we cover acts of terrorism in france and elsewhere, they have a lot of jihadi suspects to follow. too many for them to follow everyone. soap oft so often you have these attacks, you have folks actually on police radar yet able to carry out these attacks. this is not physically possible to follow every one. >> all right. and an important point you make, jim. stand by one second. updating viewsers. authorities are still looking for the driver. seeing pictures split screen from affiliates in barcelona, spain. you see police cordoning off the area, other officers walking about.
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police vehicles as wellthat presence dramatically increased in the last 20-plus minutes as they respond to this scene. again, from eyewitnesses and from the local police, a white van said to crash into a crowd of people. tv-e, state-run tv in spain reporting one dead, at least 20 injured in this attack in sen trar barcelona. jim sciutto talking about intelligence sharing between and among the european intelligence agencies reminding me of a big dust-up after the big london attack even the prime minister of great britain criticized the united states because u.s. intelligence or law enforcement agencies leaked some photos and there was tlengs. tension there. that involved the u.s. and uk pt not the united states and spain. is there any indication that there's any barriers, any frustration or tensions? or is that resolved in the united states and its partners in you're? >> the trend, i hear this both
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on the u.s. and european side. the transatlantic cooperation has been very strong. even pre-dating paris. there's been a lot of information going back and forth. the u.s. are close as lies and the u.s. has frankly resources, just don't have the in terms of surveillan surveillance, not to mention military presence in the battle foold where a lot of these plots are made up. yes a dust-up about the u.s. releasing more information than the brits wanted. in terms of counterterror cooperation, intelligence sharing i don't hear criticism across the atlantic. right? it seems those channels are open wide and the cooperation is very strong. >> jim, stand by. i want to keep viewers posted what we're seeing. you're seeing on two screens. a rising police presence in central barcelona. the los ramblos area if you're familiar with it. a thriving city, big tourist attraction. eyewitnesses and local authorities saying a white van
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crashed into a crowd of people. tv-e in spain reporting one dead, at least 20 injured. eyewitnesses believing it was deliberate. the driving into the, the rams of the crowd there, and another eyewitness saying, two armed men have run into a local restaurant at that scene, but we're trying to ascertain now from local authorities and obviously they're responding to the crime scene there. not being as quick with information. they may not have a lot of this information, where are those two men? are they located? what's the police presence in the area? contact or communication? authorities say they are still looking for the driver of that van. and as you watch these pictures, obvious guidance, but worth repeating, spanish authorities saying if in barcelona stay away from this area and in the actual square where this happened, be careful. do not move about randomly and communicate with the local authorities there. again, at least one person dead. 20 injureds after a van plowed into a crowd of people in barcelona and authorities saying
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most likely, probably, a terrorist attack. jim sciutto, as we continue the conversation, you have been through too many of these, in different parts of the world. what is happening no these counterterrorism centers, in these law enforcement centers starting in barcelona. obviously, around spain and then around europe and the united states, where people try to get information and try to help? >> here's a challenge. that the radicalization process has quickened. i've been hearing it for months. that it used to be it would take months, perhaps years, to cultivate a terror recruit, and now the word is that it can happen in a matter of weeks. that someone watching enough videos online, going to chat rooms, et cetera. can go from -- invisible, not known to about threat, to carrying out an attack. that makes it -- when that time shrine shorter it makes it difficult, sometimes impossible to interrupt it.
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because it could be someone who came out of nowhere. you have no idea they were a threat nap . that is a real concern. the point i would make, john, just in the last few days in our country. five days apart, a white nationalist and what appears to be terrorists using a vehicle to kill someone. just as a matter parallels, you hear the same how white nationalists, keep in mind, violent extremism in the u.s. is often just as much in that category as it is a category, they are also being radicalized online and often very quickly. the parallels are remarkable. >> jim sciutto. stand by to continue reporting. updating viewers what we see here. authorities saying more than one have died in this attack in central barcelona, spain. attributing as a probable terrorist attack. more than one. we don't have a more definite number. apologies.
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that's what happens early on in these situations. more than one we are now told, it's reported by state tv, have been killed in this attack in central barcelona. a van ramming in to a crowd of people. 20 or more have been injured. again, eyewitnesses believing it was intentional. a white van ramming into a crowd. authorities saying they believe this to be most likely a terrorist attack. eyewitnesses saying also two gunmen too refuge in a local restaurant. the question, are they hiding? is there a hostage situation? a standoff? we're trying to get more information on that as the situation develops. you see heavy law enforcement on the scene. we're take a break. continuing this straight out of barcelona, spain, when we return in just a moment. a penny it's ourr back to school one cent event
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remember - these plans let you apply all year round. so call today. because now's the perfect time to learn more. go long. i'm john king in washington. you're looking at live pictures, barcelona, spain. a white van crashed into a crowd of people.
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more than one person is dead according to local media reports. 20-plus perhaps injured in this. eyewitnesses say two gunmen, they've run into a restaurant in a popular tourist area in central barcelona. tries to get more information as this plays out. authorities say it is an apparent terrorist attack. isa florez is tracking the breaking news in london. trying to get more information. what's the very latest you received? >> reporter: yes, john. a fluid situation, urgent and worrisome situation for those in barcelona. we are hearing from authorities that, like you said, a number of deaths, and many injuries. authorities, local police basically saying most likely a terror attack, and calling this pretty much a mass trampling. what we know. some context. in plaza cataluna, the live pictures you're looking at.
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a truck, i should say a van, as the spanish call it, a van plowed into a sidewalk, mounted a sidewalk, and then plowed into a crowd of people. we know there have been several injuries. police saying there are many injuries now. we do not know how many, or how severe those injuries, but we know the police have cordoned off the area. we have seen those live images there. we know they have closed off pretty much all of the shops, all the metros, and we know as well from speaking to witnesses on the ground that what they have seen was this white van with blue writing, basically, plowing down. plowing down that main wide and popular street going at 80 kilometers per hour and plowing into a group of people. witness then said, john, they've seen these men, these two men. one described between 23 and 25 years of age looking very angry and carrying something in his hand.
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he did not say exactly. could not tell exactly what they were carrying. then these men have gone into a bar. i've heard one person say a bar. others say a restaurant in this area where all the bars and restaurants are in this area, and they seem to have pretty much barricaded themselves inside that bar. authorities say they have no motive. they cannot confirm the motive, but in the last minute or so they have said they have activated the terror response. the plan they have in place when they believe it's a terror attack. taking this very seriously. the prime minister mariano rahighway telling people to stay away from the area, stop posting on social media and let authorities chase and discover who is behind this. i have to tell you, going through spanish media, listening to tv-e, reports, not confirmed this, john, perhaps we may be
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looking at two vans rather than one. this is not confirmed. this is what legal medimmedia l reporting. the individuals barricading themselves in this bar. people seen running, with families and children crying going to the side streets, alleyways of course, a very popular part of barcelona. many tourist this time of year, a warm, sunny day with many restaurants and shops, and clearly a very disconcerting moment for authorities there, but what we're hearing this hour, a number of deaths and many injuries. police saying this is most likely a terror attack and describes the van plowing into the people as a mass trampling, john. >> isa florez in london. continue your reporting. stay with us. we'll stay in touch. bringing viewers this information. this happens in these situations unfortunately. conflicting information. authorities saying more than one dead. the catalonia government saying
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what it can confirm, one killed in this apparent terrorist attack and 17 more inyou? ed. injured. he heard more than one, ballpark of 20. often in the first hour, two, three, of these situations the information changes, but the government saying, one killed. 17 more injured. we'll continue to pursue more information there. i believe we still have our national security correspondent jim sciutto with us. jim, the catalonian police suspect te suspecting terrorism and a highly trained presence on the scene. take us through the different layers. does it also mean, for example, as you respond to the scene, are they checking on the whereabouts, checking on the identities and locations of what i'll tall the usual suspects? people on their watch list? >> absolutely. that would be likely. i have to tell you, john, i happened to know someone who
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is -- has been in barcelona recently. he has got videos from an eyewitness, graphic and completely extensive. i hear there are, many, people hurt and injured. i watched about a minute-long video, john, of a long stretch of that very busy tourist street, las ramblas in the middle of barcelona and i tell you, i couldn't count the number of bodies i saw on the ground. it is -- a -- injured, at least -- it looks to be a truly horrific attack here, and because of the m.o., the car, and apparently, an after-attack, the gunmen leaving the vans and perhaps going into a restaurant. gunshots heard. that fits an m.o. we've seen before from isis and other
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terror-inspired groups. use your vehicle and then attack. we saw it play out on the streets of london just a few weeks ago, and it's because of those things that you see the spanish authorities without definitively saying, moving into a counterterrorism mode quickly. >> and you heard from isa florez, i want to stress this information, often coming in from eyewitness at a distance, people hoop see things from different perspectives, see it a little differently. in the early hours, we know there are conflicting or changing accounts as it comes through, but reports that two men, one of them carrying something. eyewitnesses said somebody armed, others saying they can't be sure what it was, barricading themselves in a local bar or restaurant. i assume that will be priority one for the counterterrorism response to the scene? >> absolutely. because you have to -- you want to minimize casualties and hope that they don't, the terrorists
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don't hurt or kill more, and, remember, the protocol has become, don't wait. right? because these are -- these are not people you negotiate with, assuming they are -- they're fitting the profile that police are speaking about right now, that they're terrorists. these are not folks looking for money or to negotiate. they're looking to kill. the police response therefore would be err on the side of going in rather than circling and waiting. >> we're looking at -- >> if they have an opportunity. >> jim, i don't know if you can see the monitor on the screen. we're looking at pictures from moments ago. you see a much heavier all of a sudden police presence on the scene. automatic rifles used by the authorities there as they're going down one of the streets here. just moments ago. looking in the windows, looking door to door. you see the police officer there, a handgun in his hand. other pictures with other officers with -- automatic rifles. obviously it looks like a
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door-to-door hunt for these suspects, as you look at this very dramatic video playing out, and it reminds you of the risks, reminds you of the risks these heroes take every day around the world, but we're seeing it unfold right here. quite a situation. we will keep on top of it. jim sciutto, keep working sources. we'll continue to watch this scene. those first responders -- taking risks on the scene right there in barcelona. what dramatic video. again, one person killed at least 17 injured a van crashing into a crowd in a bustling neighborhood in central barcelona. police say most likely a terrorist attack. the white house chief of staff, says the chief of staff is aware of the situation and keeping the president of the united states abreast. trying to get more information from local authorities as well. we'll take a quick break and continue our coverage in just a moment. i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay.
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i'm john king in washington. you're looking here at barcelona, spain. dramatic pictures, a law enforcement sweep moments ago of an area in barcelona. some with handguns, some automatic rifles. a sweep in an area, at least one van hit a crowd of people. the government saying, authorities saying, one person dead. 17 wounded. obviously a search under way for the suspected assailants in this area in barcelona, spain. heavy police presence as we seek to get eyewitness accounts, i want to bring in on the telephone arno arpar, a radio journalist in the area as this played out. tell me exactly what you saw. >> [ inaudible ]. [ sirens ] >> arno, try one more time before we let e go. arno, john king in washington. can you hear me, sir?
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>> caller: i hear you, but we are now actually -- there's very confusing moment, because there's a lot of police, special police vans and in las ramblas and we only can see that it seems that one -- restaurant in las ramblas, inside of it there's one terrorist inside, but we are confident that inside are workers there, and now -- one woman -- sorry. i'm very nervous. because it seems that this is very important moment. the police are -- we see guns, going -- down to ramblas and seems that they will go in to
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this cafe for the, by the terrorists. >> arno ahpar, saying police approaching one cafe continues this manhunt. arno, stay in touch our our produces team and we're try to improve the quality of the communication. according to that eyewitness on the scene, we showed pictures moments ago, dramatic police response in central barcelona. apparent terrorist attack. a white van jumping the curb to strike a crowd of people. you see here in this cafe year, police, some with handguns, some automatic rifles making their way and one cafe seems to be of particular interest to them. an eyewitness on the scene. we'll continue to get more information and watch this dramatic sweep, manhunt, unfold in barcelona, spain, and be back in just a moment. to the doctor's office, just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home...
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we are, of course, continuing to follow breaking news out of barcelona. apparent terrorist attack pap van plowing into a crowd of people. we know at least one killed. 17 injured. an ongoing police situation. heavily armed police searching the area for the driver amid reports of gunshots, in the las ramblas area where this all happened. big political news. a bitter angry outburst from president trump attacking republicans who say he failed the moral and character test posed by the charlottesville vooit violence. with us to share reporting and opinions, our panel. president trump trying to change the subject and stoking an issue front and center after last weekend's charlotte vitz mayhem. ville mayhem. sad to see our country ripped apart of our beautiful stat
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chechew sta statues and monuments. who's next? washington, jefferson? so foolish. the future of confederate monuments, an emotional issue. for the president, much safer political ground than, say, his angry tuesday outburst where he equated counterdemonstrators with the neo-nazis, kkk members and white nationalists. the tweets came from his golf resort in bedminster, new jersey. a crisis atmosphere. be hs honest about this. a., why this again? and why stoke it again on twitter today when you have the naacp talking about this in georgia, the governor of virginia, one-time capital of the confederacy where more of these monuments are than anywhere saying time to take them down. why does the president do this at a time we know his chief of staff is mad at him, his daughter mad at him, chief economic adviser a prop sdanding
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standing behind the president when he went on a dissertation the other day ar mad as well? >> everybody mad, but nobody quit. all still working for the administration. focusing on the monument they feel is a way back to the base, to get back to the notion that president trump is trying to protect your culture. trying to protect your history. trying to protect your lifestyle. back to a kind of america first slogan that he ran on, the notion that liberals are changing this into a country you don't even recognize and we were told by sources yesterday that the president's mind-set was eminently satisfied with what he had to say in that sort of free-wheeling pre in ing mind-s don't know what real america think. i know what real america thinks and in his mind proven right because now the president of the united states and his head is in a similar place. >> still thinks he's in a
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republican primary running against hillary clinton? >> folks are going against him, there were not very fine people at this nazi rally and something people have to distance themselves from with very good reason. he's talking about the statues because that puts him on safer ground politically for this reason. it is a 60-something, 20-something issue when you poll people, including evenly plit among democrats. the question becomes how do the folks who want to take them down convince the folks who don't? it's actually just a culture war. >> and is the president trying to take advantage or lead, as divisive as he is a national conversation that is worth having, needs to be had about what to do about these things. i suspect he's not the one to lead that based on the last few days. the anger, lashing out. criticize the president he comes back. publici publicity-seeking lindsey
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graham, more equivalency between neo-nazism and -- he can't forget his election trouncing. people of south carolina will remember. the president attacking senator jeff flake on the ballot next here in arizona. lashing out against his critics. why? >> think about the two senators that the president has gone off, gone after very forcefully on twitter and other after neuse. avenues. vulnerable republicans, that republicans need to hold on for next year. not going after the democrats that the republicans conceivably have a chance to beat and a very chaotic, crazy september in terms of legislative agenda ahead of us and this is not helping that situation right now. >> and arizona on tuesday, a rally. interesting to see a couple things does he endorse challenger jeff flake and muse for openly about possibly pardoning sheriff arpaio? interesting night this morning after the president went after
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jeff flake head of the committee cory gardner said stand unequivocally behind his election. >> and doing things that divide his own party. we're shorten time because of the breaking news. appreciate you coming in. wolf blitzer continuing our coverage after a quick break. >>.
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i'm wolf blitzer in washington. wherever you're


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