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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Turkish PM: At Least 36 Dead, 147 Wounded; U.S. Officials: Istanbul Attack Has Hallmarks Of ISIS; Turkish PM: Attackers Opened Fire Then Detonated Themselves; Witness Reports "Total Panic" After Airport Terror Attack; Istanbul's Gov.: Three Suicide Bombers Attacked Airport; Turkish PM Suspects ISIS Behind Airport Attack; FAA Halts U.S. Flights To And From Istanbul; White House Condemns "Heinous" Attack In Istanbul; Clinton, Trump Respond To Attack; Officials: 2 Explosion In Airport Terminal One In Parking Lot; Trump Responds To Istanbul Terror Attack; Clinton: "Time To Move On" After Benghazi Report. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 28, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Just one of three detonations, another caught on video along with the gun fire, and chase preceding it.
Again, before showing it, I want to warn anyone with kids this would be a good time to have them leave the room. The video begins with the killer racing down a hallway holding an assault rifle. He's hit by gunfire. That's one of the gunmen there. Shot, falls down. You see his gun slides away, his rifle slides away. He then see law enforcement personnel, I assume it is law enforcement personnel, approaching him. Whether he's shot again is unclear. And the policeman runs away. Probably after seeing a suicide vest.
And then it seems there may have been another shot right there. And then the detonation, 36 people killed so far. That's the death toll. That's where the number stands right now. Most likely it will rise. At least 147 people wounded. We are again devoting much of this hour to any and all late developments.
Laurence Cameron was there to see the aftermath. He landed at the airport just after the explosion. He joins us now by phone.
Laurence, from what I understand you had just stepped off the plane when this happened. Can you describe what you saw, what you first saw and heard?
LAURENCE CAMERON, WITNESS TO AIRPORT TERROR ATTACK: Yeah. I was just, you know, reach around the corner after --and to the -- I'm just to -- sort sea of people running towards me and, you know, screaming and panicking, and all a bit of a mess. And initially I just thought, you know, bomb scare, this probably happens quite a lot these days, but it soon became quite apparent that actually something was very wrong.
COOPER: At that point, had all the detonations already occurred as far as you know?
CAMERON: Yes, as far as I know, I didn't hear any more explosions. It was just panic. You know, police rushing around. The thing is that -- like that I reached to that point that they abandoned, you know, all the airport staff is gone, all sort of, you know, passing people rush down the corridors. There was one chap who that I remember distinctly in a wheelchair, and he was sort of struggling to get through it all. That really stuck in my mind.
Yeah, it was that point that I realized that actually this wasn't just a, you know, -- sorry, I'm quite dehydrant (ph).
COOPER: It's understandable. But you actually had to walk through one of the areas where I understand where one of the bombs went off. I mean, it was the only way to get out. What did you see?
CAMERON: Yeah, well, obviously, you know, you're coming from a plane, there's no way off except through passport control. So when they eventually reopened it and the police had cordoned through, you know, the baggage area and duty-free. But it was all very eerie. The bags were just sort of piled up on the floor, there were panels pulled from the ceiling. And the closer we got outside it was quite apparent there had been some kind of explosion in that indoor area which I think, you know, having watch the imagines on TV I can now pinpoint where it was.
And then from that, we walked out into what was the taxi rank, where, you know, where you would have hailed a taxi to be on your way, and it looked like a disaster movie. There was just devastation, blood still on the floor. You know, obviously, by that point the ambulances had taken away the wounded and it was just soldiers and police, again, hustling us all off, just pushing us out into the multi-story car park and then just out into the night, really.
COOPER: And I understand there were also ...
CAMERON: I try to stick around.
COOPER: I also understand there were family members holding up signs with their loved ones' names on them trying to find them anyway they could.
CAMERON: There was -- at least one or two I distinct remember holding up a piece of paper and to see people looking back into the crowd, I guess that had been split up from friends or loved ones. But, again, the police were just doing their best to get everyone through. You know, you can understand why they wouldn't want people lingering. But some very frustrated passengers, you know, looking back into the airport, clearly, you know, having missed someone or having been split up from loved ones. I mean, it was all a mad crush.
CAMERON: We were stuck in there for about half an hour. You know, people crying and running around and the police would come and go and, you know, people everyone asking everyone else what's happening, what's happening. Yeah.
COOPER: Well, Laurence, I appreciate you talking to us. I'm so sorry for what you went through and I'm glad you're doing OK, you can get some rest now. Appreciate it, Laurence Cameron.
Joining us now is Time Magazine Middle East Bureau chief, Jared Malsin. Jared, obviously chaotic, emotional scene, tell us a little about what you have been seeing on these last several hours.
JARED MALSIN, TIME MAGAZINE, MIDDLE EAST BUREAU CHIEF: I arrived about an hour after the attack took place, as far as I can tell as your previous guest has described, it was an extremely chaotic scene here with ambulances that screeching in and out.
[21:05:10] The police established a cordon at the entrance to the terminal and blocked off all the streets leading to the airport, and finally of course, hundreds of passengers stunned, stumbling out of the terminal and describing this kind of unimaginable scene inside where there were at least two explosions and gunfire.
And yeah, just a really large number of really stunned traumatized people, people separated from their families, obviously travel plans extremely disrupted and a lot of people kind of bewildered, not sure what they were going to do next.
COOPER: And this is an airport, I mean, you I'm sure have used it many times, where there is a high level of security?
MALSIN: That's right. This is an extremely hard airport to get into in the first place. They take security here very seriously. There's a stringent security check at the entrance to the terminal and from what the witnesses here have been telling me and telling other news organizations is that this was an attack that took place inside the terminal, at least beyond that first security cordon, if not further, and so obviously, a very extremely grave breach of security here.
COOPER: Yeah, Jared, I appreciate you joining us. Before going any further, I do want to get an update just on everything we have been learning tonight on both sides of the Atlantic.
For that, CNN's senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward joins us. Clarissa, just give us the rundown, what's the latest of what you have learned so far?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, we have quite a lot of new information coming in, Anderson, some of which you have already touched on earlier in the show. Firstly, U.S. officials, intelligence officials, are telling CNN that based on what they have seen from a preliminary point of view, this attack does bear all the hallmarks of an ISIS directed or ISIS inspired attack. Now, that also gels with what we heard from the Turkish prime minister, who said they are also looking at ISIS as their number one suspect.
Now, the Turkish prime minister also gave some more details about how the attack went down. Here is what we know. There were three attackers, all of them believed to be wearing explosive vest and all of them believed to be heavily armed with ak-47s. They apparently arrived according to the Turkish prime minister together in a taxi and they began -- they left the taxi obviously. We know the two of them went to the arrivals hall, the international arrivals hall. We mentioned this before but it bears mentioning again, there's heavy security at the entrance to the international departures hall. There's a full screening process, you have an x-ray machine and you have to go through a metal detector, but in the arrivals hall, of course, you don't have that same level of security.
So two of the attackers we believe went into the arrivals hall, they appeared to fire their weapons before exploding their devices. You saw that harrowing video where one of the attackers appears to be lying on the ground injured, he appears to be engaged by a Turkish security personnel officer who appears to fire at him, and then run for his life as he senses perhaps that the attacker is about to push the button on his explosive vest.
Now, ISIS has not at this stage yet actually claimed responsibility for this attack, but if you look back at ISIS attacks in Turkey, unlike other attacks that they have done in the west, they don't typically claim responsibility for them. There have been three, including -- well, there have been three including this attack, there have been three ISIS attacks if indeed this is confirmed to be an ISIS attack in Turkey since the beginning of the year.
They are really stepping up the pressure, and particularly now, it's the last ten days of Ramadan. We have seen a call from the spokesman for ISIS urging followers, urging supporters, urging those inspired by ISIS to carry out these types of attacks, but this one, Anderson, looks like it was coordinated, it looked like it took some planning and it looked like the attackers knew where they were going and what they were doing, Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah, Clarissa Ward, Clarissa, thanks for that update.
Back with our panel. Security and counter terrorism experts joining the conversation, CNN counter terrorist analyst and former CIA official Phil Mudd. Phil, I mean, if you were at CIA or FBI, both where you worked at this point, seeing the videos that you've seen, getting the information that we have publicly, what jumps out at you?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: First thing you have to do is follow the facts. I think this is an ISIS operation. Geographic proximity to Syria, a target that is the Turks who have engaged against ISIS in Syria, and therefore ISIS is saying we got to go after them.
[21:10:04] And the technique we saw in Brussels, that is, you are not going against an aircraft, a hard target, as al-Qaeda would have. I don't agree that this is a hard target. This is a soft place where you can bring in a backpack, a suicide vest, the weapon and just walk in and kill people. Fairly easy to attack.
But the second piece, Anderson, is you got to wait for judgment I want to know who they are, who sent them and who directed them from Syria before I have a final conclusion on whether this is ISIS. I think so, 24 or 48 hours, we should know so.
COOPER: But, I mean, based on your experience, how likely is it there are more people involved in a larger -- I mean, to get three people into an airport with vests, with weapons, is it just three people or is it larger than that?
MUDD: Anderson, it's not likely. It's a certainty. You got to think of at least three levels here. The first is the people who conducted the operation, the operators. The second is the people who facilitated, where the documents, who got them through the borders, who paid for it, who built the weapon. And the third is most significant. Not only from the Turkish perspective but from the American intelligence getting perspective, how did we collect intelligence to stop this? Who was in Syria that had the ideological inspiration to say we want to attack in Brussels, in Paris and now in Turkey. Those people have to go.
COOPER: And Michael, I mean, you kind of ran down very succinctly in our last hour a number of sort of why now. What is the answer to that, why now?
MICHAEL WEISS, ISIS: INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERROR, CO-AUTHOR: Well, I mean, ISIS always has a motive to attack foreign country, particularly one that's part of the coalition especially one that's a NATO ally. But given recent events, they lost Fallujah in Iraq. They are about to lose Manbij an important city to them in Northern Aleppo. It is scattered their forces I'm told including the head of the Amn al- Kharji which is effectively the foreign intelligence branch of ISIS.
This guy along with his family is rumored to have fled to Turkey where he's been apprehended by the Turkish security services. If that's the case, I mean, imagine if a hostile nation kidnapped John Brennan, for instance. That's how they would view this.
They had any plans under way to commit a terrorist atrocity on Turkish soil, they will have sped it up as a result of that. Also, I mean, there are other geopolitical optics here. Turkish-Israeli rapprochement was interesting ...
COOPER: Which was just announced.
WEISS: ... which was just announced.
In 2015, I counted about half a dozen ISIS attacks. And as (inaudible) turn out have been said, they don't claim credit for it but the Turks have come out and said this is who did it. Most of those attacks were arranged against Kurdish targets in Turkey, and particularly PKK. We've been talking about what might this be PKK.
COOPER: All right.
WEISS: Why is ISIS doing that? These guys think geopolitically. They are trying to drive a wedge or cleavage between Turkey and the other coalition allies knowing quite well the Turks don't really want to be at war with ISIS. They rather be at war wit the PKK and Bashar Al-Assad. They're going after the Kurds they expect the Kurds to rise up against the Erdogan government in Turkey and create a political instability inside Turkish society. That's exactly what happened if you look at the last several elections in Turkey.
This is a change of tactics for them, if it is indeed ISIS. They are going after an international target. They will have wanted to kill Americans, French, Britons, Turks, you name it. Just like in Brussels. I mean, we're seeing the same methodology. Arrive by taxi, coordinate a team of in this case three suicide bombers and as Phil and others has pointed out it will be a bomb maker, there will be whole network of facilitators and fixers inside Turkey who help with this attack.
COOPER: And Juliette, I know you've been working your sources talking to people here at DHS, elsewhere. What are you thinking of right now?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECREATRY FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: So I mean, obviously the first thing you think about is the homeland as one should. We are entering July 4th weekend. There is no evidence to suggest that suggest that this push by ISIS in terms of ISIS, potentially ISIS directed attacks could reach the homeland but what you are going to see is a surge of security forces, some of it may be just cosmetic. I have no doubt you're going to see every major mayor in the days to come, come forward and say that people are safe and secure.
At the airports, the challenge now for the U.S. is we have this program called the last point of destination. These are the airports that service the U.S. directly. Istanbul is clearly one of them. We have a whole security apparatus that looks at the planes, the cargo, the people, the security apparatus, but there's no security apparatus that is going to make an area like Phil was describing, where people are flowing and going to and fro, perfectly hard.
You can't make it hard, because you need people to access the flights. That's going to be the challenge for this program, the last point of destination, how much tougher can U.S. sort of protocols be in foreign airports given the vulnerabilities we seen in the last couple months.
COOPER: And Phil, how essential is a solution to the war in Syria it add, I mean, the final analysis, does this all boil down to Syria?
[21:14:57] MUDD: It really does. We are separating out attacks in places like Western Europe and Turkey from what's happening in the difficult area of Syria. Simple point. This is the tail of the snake in Turkey. A few operators inspired by Syria go conduct an attack. Until you deal with the question of how do you control space in Syria, do you control space in Syria? Do you support the dictator Assad in reinforcing security for Syria? Somebody who has used chemical weapons against his own people, or do you allow a civil war to continue by supporting the opposition, which will maintain instability and allow ISIS to operate.
It's an impossible question for the White House. The two candidates, I think, are sidestepping the question but you got two bad options. Allow instability to continue or allow security to return in which case you allow Assad to maintain power. You don't have a good option Anderson.
COOPER: Right. And yet in Iraq, I mean there has been, you know, Fallujah is back in the hands of, you know, the Iraqi government such as it is. Mosul is I guess the next target.
WEISS: It is and according to Brett McGurk, a special ongoing to the coalition there's going to be a joint concerted effort to try and retake Raqqa and Mosul at the same time. But, look there are contradictions inherent in this war, right. And ISIS is very well aware of them and trying to prey upon them. One of them being in Iraq, the people who are doing the heavy lifting against ISIS by a large are Shia and Militia groups, many of them backed fired Iran.
These guys have committed atrocities against Sunnis. There is -- I'm talking to Pentagon, "The Daily Beast", my magazine today reported there's fear that because ISIS kind of melted it away so quickly from Fallujah, they are planning to come back. Why would they leave? They want to see scorched earth campaign. They want to see ethnic cleansing they want to see pogroms against Sunnis because that is going to be the catalyst that drives people back into the fold.
So they're losing recruits absolutely internationally but on the ground in their (inaudible) region, right the Syria and Iraq, there are still lots of Arabs who join up with ISIS not of idealogical loyalty but out of in a sense bizarre to the western imagination, the sense of pragmatism we prefer these guys to the -- that the people who would come and liberate us from them, including Bashar Al-Assad.
COPPER: A lot more to talk about. Phil Mudd, thank you Michael Weiss, as well as Juliette Kayyem, we got to take a quick break.
More eyewitnesses continue to come forward. I'll hear from another one next and more on the situation and the latest that we know out of Istanbul.
[21:21:08] COOPER: One of the most security-conscious airports in the world yet somehow three suicide bombers found a weak point. Tonight, at least 36 people have died. Many more are wounded, American officials telling us if this bears the hallmarks of ISIS
The Turkish government suspects the same. No claim of responsibility. Clearly a lot more to learn about who the bombers were and who almost certainly as Phil Mudd said helped them.
One thing abundantly clear it was a terrible, terrible scene. Joining us now by phone is Thomas Kemper, who lives here in the U.S., was at the airport and Thomas, what did you see? What did you hear?
THOMAS KEMPER, WITNESSED AIRPORT TERROR ATTACK: Yeah. I was in the lounge in the Turkish Airlines lounge and was just trying to take a nap while changing flights and then I heard this incredible blast and shooting and it seemed to be very near but at first we think it's terror but you don't think it's real but then people started running and running and running and so I grabbed my stuff and started running as well.
But then people came from the other direction, that no they are over there. So we (inaudible) and it fell over each other. It was a total chaos. So, and what we did is basically back into the lounge and I was hiding for, I don't know, 30 minutes, 40 minutes in the back room of one of the kitchens there trying to hide and that looks (inaudible) behind whatever the good (inaudible). I am thinking maybe the terrorists from and because we had no information, of course.
COOPER: And then when you left was -- did you leave through the arrivals area? So, I mean did you -- what did you actually see?
KEMPER: Yeah, yeah, we -- it took a long time. After, they are all gathered and then we will all screaming out and we all had to go through the arrival hall. They have tried to cover it, but we could say the (inaudible) and blood there and the feeling and everything destroyed in that area. And you had to walk because it seemed to be the only way out because we were in the international transit area. We have arrived at the departure of international (inaudible).
COOPER: You wrote on your Facebook page terror coming so close, let's -- we give thanks for my life, my family and cause us to fight hate and terror everywhere.
KEMPER: Yeah, Anderson, I was so -- I sat next to a young woman and then she drop and she started, she was crying and so -- and just talked to her. I didn't know whether she spoke English and she spoke broken English and she said I'm here from Turkey, I can't go home and I said why can't you go home?
I was staying with a friend and then the bombs came and I started running, have I no passport, they don't let me out. And then on the back here they tried to bust it out. I was next to a Somali family that leaves them a hall and they were on their way to Mogadishu and he said this ship is everywhere now.
I mean and these people are -- these are our friends, these are our allies. They are Muslims but together, I think we have to standup because we lived together and have to standup against terror. And if we don't reach out to them, I mean, I lead a mission, Christian mission, but if we are not together in this world, we will never overcome this terror.
I think that was so clear. Most people affected here are Muslims and they suffer and they flee and they are refugees and we have to open our arms and build a different world together with them.
COOPER: Thomas Kemper with the United Methodist Church, Thomas, thank you for talking to us tonight.
In a statement condemning the attack the White House says Istanbul's Airport is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together and says the United States remains steadfast in its support for Turkey.
Joining us now is CNN world affairs analyst, Fareed Zakaria, host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS" also CNN senior political commentator and former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod.
David, President Obama has obviously been briefed on this, made a statement about this. What is happening in the White House at a time like this? When there's an incident like this?
DAVID ALEXEROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I think first of all, ascertaining what the source of this was. It appears to be ISIS. They need to run this -- the ground and how this happened.
[21:25:00] I think they've want to offer the assistance they can to the Turkish government in dealing with the aftermath of this, and determine what the holes are here that have to be plugged. This is an ongoing struggle and sadly, I think it's going to continue. So what lessons can be learned here in terms of security?
COOPER: Yeah, I mean Fareed you've obviously delved deeply into this not just on "GPS" but also in your documentary, you know, "Why They Hate Us". The efforts to combat ISIS, I mean a lot of it is dependent and we've seen advances on the ground, we were just talking about with Michael Weiss in Iraq. Obviously the civil war continues in Syria. And yet, it's almost as if these actions are broad by whether it's ISIS or other groups, is in reaction to battlefield losses.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: That's right, as they get squeezed in their home bases, they look for ways to maintain attention, maintain funding, maintain -- set the agenda and recruitment.
And, one way to do that is this kind of spectacular acts of terror. What they also realize is that they are trying to find the place where they can get the maximum impact so if you notice, you know, they have realized they're just doing it on a street corner doesn't do much. So, the Bataclan in Paris, a theater, a nightclub, airports.
Now airports, what's most interesting about this, of all the places we have seen, and this happened in Brussels and here. Airports are generally thought to be harder targets. They are not cafes or nightclubs. There is security. But of course, there isn't that much security because you have to allow travelers to come in and out. I mean ...
COOPER: The sheer volume of people versus how much security.
ZAKARIA: Right. People don't realize but you have literally millions of people going in and out of airports everyday. And you can't, you know, you can't have highly elaborate screening procedures everywhere. So they seemed to be searching for places like that. Where you can get a big impact but where there still -- it is still not a hard target. That's what makes one think it's probably something like ISIS or it may be one of the other Jihadi groups in Syria. You know, there are many.
ISIS usually claims responsibility and this is an unusual case where in Turkey, there have been a number of this kind of attacks and neither ISIS nor anyone has in many cases taken responsibility. COOPER: Did the U.S. Consulate, said they have accounted for American personnel working for the Consulate and no one was involved. But obviously, the U.S. is still investigating whether any Americans might have been hurt in the attack. That's also I guess got to be a high priority for the Obama ...
AXELROD: Oh absolutely. Absolutely, that has to be a high priority and, you know, I think that one of the questions about all of this is how do Americans react to this? Does this seem like a remote event or is this equated with what we saw elsewhere, including Orlando. This is become part of a larger sense that there is a growing threat out there?
COOPER: And I mean, Fareed, do you think the threat is growing or I mean if because it is on the one hand, if they are have suffering battlefield losses, you know, part of ISIS early on was the belief that they needed territory, they wanted to create this caliphate. If they are now shrinking on the ground, I mean that's obviously a good thing, that's a good development, but is their reach growing I guess?
ZAKARIA: I think there's no question the world is becoming more complicated. I don't know that I would say it's becoming more dangerous because these are still small numbers. I mean if you compare it to the number of, you know all kinds of statistics you could look at.
ZAKARIA: But it's clear that they have recognized that because they are not going to rule Syria, they are not going to rule Iraq, they are not going to rule Afghanistan, but this, they can do, and they have begun to do more and more expertly and there are more, you know, there are more of these lone wolf or small group attacks, so how you deal with this is that -- I don't think any of us have quite figured out what the right response is. What exactly do you do to stop the next Orlando, to stop the next Istanbul airport, which is a very modern, very well-run airport and that's the core of the problem that we face. How do you partner with local communities? How do you get good intelligence?
COOPER: It's also an interesting dilemma, I think for just from a new standpoint, is that we are aware of so much and we see the violence in ways that previous generations didn't and so even if the total number of people dying violent deaths is reduced, there's an immediacy to it, that we never saw before.
ZAKARIA: And the nature of the kind of violence. So if you watch people dying in Vietnam, you didn't think you were going to be killed because you are not volunteering.
ZAKARIA: But in an airport, right anyone can imagine being in that airport. I have been in and out of that airport dozens of times. And so you don't have to have done that because Istanbul Airport is a very modern airport. It looks like any, you know, any great airport in the world.
[21:30:00] And that makes people feel like that could be me. And so the statistics are the kind of intellectual way to look at it but there is a real emotional, visceral tug. And how to respond to that, President Obama has himself talked about how he sometimes doesn't recognized the optics of these situations where he looks at these things very analytically and ...
COOPER: Do you think that's ...
AXELROD: But we dealt with that when I was in the White House. And there was the complaint that he wasn't as passionate and as angry as he should be in the face of these things. But, he does tend to look at these things analytically. He tends to look at these as problems to be addressed.
I think one of the dangers here is that even though there may not be a net increase in these kinds of activities or in the threat, it is fodder for demagoguery in politics and we'll undoubtedly see that in the coming weeks and months.
ZAKARIA: But I wonder, David, you know, one of the things we've noticed after Orlando is that people are coming to recognize we're in difficult, complicated times, Brexit, this kind of attack.
And Trump at least has not helped himself with a series of off-the- cuff, seemingly intemperate comments. You know, I think that it's an interesting balance. Sometimes, it helps to seem as though you're tough and you're going to be tougher than anybody else, but you can also make people anxious if you seem entirely ...
AXELROD: That is clearly happened. And you saw in "The Washington Post" poll that Hillary Clinton had a 12 point edge in dealing with terrors. I mean I think it had to do with temperament, it had to do with experience surely, but I think it had to do with temperament.
And the question is, is there a tipping point here where people become frighten to the point where they choose the strong man who says I can deal with it even if he can't articulate how he would deal with it as opposed to a rational response.
And that's something that will be tested in the next few months.
COOPER: David Axelrod and Fareed Zakaria, thanks very much. We're going to have more from Istanbul in just a moment including the political reaction Fareed and David just mentioned, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton responding from their respected paths on the campaign trail, what they are saying, next.
[21:36:13] COOPER: We just got new video from inside Istanbul's at a Turk airport immediately after the attack. Take a look. We're seeing it for the first time here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sit down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down. Hey! hey! Sit down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down, sit down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down! Sit down! Sit down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you just please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just give you a sense of the kind of the chaos, people not sure exactly what is going on.
Some who lived through this have been coming forward. We've been getting new eyewitness accounts throughout the evening. Each one with a different view of the Istanbul airport suicide bombings also, bearing witness, many security cameras including at least two that captured the detonations.
Again, before showing some of it, we should warn you, it is graphic. Authorities will no doubt be screening this and many other clips in the hours and days to come.
This one shows one of the killer's assault riffle and hand racing through the terminal before gunshot takes him down.
Again, we don't know the source of the video judging the prospects, the quality it appears to be from a security camera overhead.
The man as you see on the ground is shot by a security officer who then flees. Then more shots apparently seem to hit the gunman. One shot in particular at the very least just seconds before the device itself is detonated. And that's the detonation.
Again, this is just one of three bombers according to authorities, almost certainly with additional help, according to our security expert. And we're just getting some new information about the locations of the explosions themselves. That's been one of the big questions. Of the three attackers, two of them were at the international terminal. The third bomber was in the nearby parking lot. The Turkish official tells CNN, all three of them did detonate suicide vests.
As we've said, more eyewitnesses coming forward. This one spoke to our Israeli affiliate channel 10.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you inside the terminal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I was inside the terminal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard a blast. It was a big blast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see any?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a few minutes later, another one followed. And a couple of few minutes later, a slight blast, I think it was further away. And then we heard -- and then we saw a lot of people running around. They were all covered in blood. That's the only thing I can say about this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The blast, the bomb, were at the entrance of the terminal or inside the check-in area?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it was just before the security. It was before the security. It was outside. As you see there. It's just behind that bridge. That's where it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where were you at during the bomb?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was at the IP (ph) lounge which has a clear view of the entrance of the international arrival terminal. That's what I saw, just right after the blast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it look like suicide bombers or they tried to shoot people after the bomb?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In fact, I didn't see anybody shooting around.
But, when I listened to the news, they claim that there was a suicide bomber who tried to get inside and when the policeman noticed that he was a suicide bomber, he started shooting around with a rifle, the people. They said it was a Kalashnikov and then he detonated the bomb one himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump reacted late today with the Istanbul bombings tweeting, "Yet another terrorist attack this time in Turkey. Will the world ever realize what is going on? So sad."
He spoke as well tonight at a campaign spot in eastern Ohio. Justin Carroll is there. He joins us. So, what has Trump said about the attacks while in Ohio?
[21:40:08] JUSTIN CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, he opened up his rally here tonight speaking about the attacks in Istanbul. What must have been in his mind is all the criticism he received after the Orlando attack. Many people saying that his response after Orlando was not presidential, that he didn't hit the mark. Tonight, he said somewhat of a different tone. As you know, he released a statement a little earlier today basically saying that his heart goes out to the families, the victims there in Istanbul. Today he told the crowd here tonight that the United States has to be smarter, it has to be tougher. One of the things that he has advocated in the past that he advocated again here tonight, Anderson, is this call to bring back the use of the interrogation technique of waterboarding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You look at what happens. You remember when I got in some trouble where I talked about waterboarding. They asked me a question. They started off. They asked Ted Cruz a question. And he rightfully didn't want to get into it and he was a little bit, you know, like don't ask me about waterboarding.
Well, they asked me the question. I said I'll answer that question. They said what do you think about waterboarding? I said I like it a lot. I don't think its tough enough.
You know, you have to fight fire with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And Anderson, I should tell you that right after he made that statement, you have to fight fire with fire. It was met with a huge applause here. I heard one woman out here tonight who really sort of summed up, but I think what a lot of people in the room were sort of thinking when he said that, which is he said, you know, we've heard about one terrorist attack after another. I really -- she said, I really feel like this is the man who sets the right tone for this country, Anderson.
COOPER: And yesterday, we heard from the Trump campaign, from sources saying that Trump was going to change his stance on banning all Muslims temporarily from entering the U.S. until they figure out what the heck is going on. Did he mention that at all today?
CARROLL: No mention of that here tonight. And you have to wonder, since, you know, he mentioned about the United States being smarter, being tougher, what essentially does that mean? Does it mean banning all Muslims like he said back in December when he called for that ban or does it mean instead a sort of softening of that position and calling for immigrants from terrorist countries to be banned from the United States? No mention of that here tonight. Again, he kept it in some ways a bit vague, but got specific when it came to the idea of waterboarding.
COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll. Jason thanks.
Now Hillary Clinton who also responded to the terror attacks. She's in Los Angeles tonight. Jeff Zeleny joins us. So what did the secretary say? JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, Secretary Clinton responded with a statement shortly after the attack, once it became clear what was going on there, and it read in part like this. It said "today's attack in Istanbul only strengthen our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical Jihadism around the world and it reminds us that the United States cannot retreat. We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat."
So a pretty short and pro forma statement from Secretary Clinton.
COOPER: And she's at a town hall right now. Has she commented on the attack?
ZELENY: Anderson, it just wrapped up a few moments ago in Los Angeles and she did not comment on the attack at all. She was asked that some questions about a variety of things, talked about economic anxieties, talked about the Donald Trump of course, but did not mention this attack which is a little unusual given her, you know, vast foreign policy experience. In the distinction, she's trying to draw with Donald Trump.
COOPER: It was also interesting in that statement that she used the term radical Jihadists.
ZELENY: It was. The word radical, she's definitely trying to take a tougher stand, to tougher tone than this administration. As we know, rightly or wrongly, this administration has been backed into a bit of a corner and certainly has been strongly criticized by Republicans for not using that word. She did use that word, but did not use Islamism. She said radical Jihadism. She does not want to blanket this whole faith.
The president has been opposed to doing that as well. She has done that as well, but you can just, Anderson, feel the conflict here that is setting up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on this. It is going to become a major issue.
Now, terrorism is front and center in this campaign after we have one attack after another. It's starting to be for deja vu here.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny. Jeff thanks very much.
Hillary Clinton was also dealing with another big item for her, the house report of the killings of Americans in Benghazi. Dana Bash has that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Eight hours into the deadly terror attack in Benghazi, U.S. military forces were still not deployed to rescue American diplomats under siege.
REP. TREY GOWDY, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE BENGHAZI COMMITTEE: Not a single wheel of a single U.S. military asset had even turned toward Libya. [21:45:00] BASH: House Republicans say that's a key finding of their two year probe by their special committee looking into events surrounding the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. compound in Libya, but the military's failure to respond fast enough has been public record for years.
LEON PANETTA, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond.
BASH: Still, GOP Chair Trey Gowdy insists their lengthy probe costing tax payers $7 million, was worth it because they gleaned new granular details from 81 interviews and 75,000 new documents. A more accurate picture, they say, than the seven investigations before it.
Like confusion between top military officers about whether Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered a rescue mission to deploy or just prepare to or a newly revealed two hour secure video conference with Obama officials in Washington while the U.S. compound in Benghazi burned.
MARTHA ROBY, (R) ALABAMA: The administration was more concerned about diplomatic sensitivities with the Libyans and promoting its policy as successful, than it was about the American safety.
BASH: The 802 page report also leaves a lengthy narrative about a state department to bureaucratic to keep their personnel safe, but draws no conclusions and provides no new information about culpability of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Does that suggest that you don't have the goods on placing any blame on the administration, specifically the woman who wants to be the president of the United States?
GOWDY: Dana, shockingly, that was not what the House asked me to do. Speaker Boehner asked me to find out what happened to four of our fellow citizens.
BASH: Two committee Republicans clearly thought their chairman did not go far enough in laying political blame at Clinton's feet and issued their own report doing just that.
REP. MIKE POMPEO, (R) KANSAS: If you choose to put political expediency and politics ahead of the men and women on the ground, for that, you'll have to answer to yourself. I find it morally reprehensible.
BASH: A lingering question has been why Ambassador Chris Stevens, a seasoned diplomat, took such a risk traveling to Benghazi at all. One answer that this report finds, is that Stevens was determined to make Benghazi a permanent U.S. Consulate and wanted a "deliverable" for Clinton's planned trip to Libya the following month. The chairman got emotional as he talked about his own deliverable. Answers for loved ones of the four Americans killed.
GOWDY: They are a sons and husbands and brothers to the people that we talked to at the very beginning and the last group that I talked who which are the family.
BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, more on today's terror attack and the wider implications. We'll be right back.
[21:51:38] COOPER: The airport in Istanbul that was the site today's terror attack is known for having pretty tight security which makes today's horrific events even more disturbing. Turkish Journalist, Fatos Karahasan landed at the airport. He saw the aftermath.
She joins me now on the phone. I understand you were in one of the last planes to actually land at the airport. What did you see when you got in the terminal?
FATOS KARAHASAN, JOURNALIST: Actually, we arrived with an hour delay. The minute we landed, we turn on our mobile and we got the breaking news and we didn't know anything. We thought we would wait on the plane, but then they took us to the terminal. Elevators, escalators were not working and there wasn't at the ground.
So we didn't really know the size of the event and there were people, all the transfer passengers. We left with -- we waited with them and people are trying to find places to rest and it was calm. But, you know, we could hear some people screaming and some people crying and police officers running back and forth. But where we were, we were safe.
And then an hour later, they opened the passport gate. We went out and probably we were the first group to go out of the terminal. And as we walked, I realized the size of the event. It was really big. There was debris and broken glass everywhere and blood stains on the uniforms of the police officers. We went outside. There were no taxis.
You know, I'm a frequent traveler. I always go from that part normally there are hundreds of people waiting for their families and, you know, there was no one, no taxi and we had to walk for an hour to find a car parked by one of our friends, ambulances.
COPPER: And what is security normally like in the arrivals area?
KARAHASAN: Well, security, you know, I was coming from Cannes, from Miss (ph) you were there last week. You know that it's quite late back. You enter and the security is right before you enter. Whereas in Istanbul, in Ankara is new all around Turkey. Our airports are very secure.
I always felt here is secure because when you enter, you have a full control and very strict control and then after the check-in, you have another control. And there are cameras, there are officers everywhere and Istanbul airport in my opinion is one of the safest. But, you know, when you have people determined to do acts -- terrible acts, they just find a way. Unfortunately this is what happened. And now that I've been watching your program, it is really terrible. It shows the size of the terrible, terrible thing.
COOPER: Yeah, it was nice. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us, Fatos, thank you so much.
Back with Phil Mudd, Michael Weiss, Juliette Kayyem and Clarissa Ward. I mean Phil as we're sort of getting near the end of the two hours, I mean, in the days to come, what as a former official of the CIA, FBI, what do you want to know? What are the key points to like focus on?
MUDD: I think the first hour of this conversation has been confused. We're answering the question of can you find defensive measures in an airport to ensure this doesn't happen? We're not talking about security in an airport. We're not talking about getting pass body scanners. We're talking about taxis, passenger cars. Can you bring in a backpack, a vest, a weapon?
[21:55:07] Any airport on the planet of course you can. We're not talking about to be getting pass security. I think the question Anderson that has to be answered is what happens in Syria? Can we prevent the continuation of safe haven in the midst of a five-year Civil War? And that's the question we don't have any answer to.
COOPER: Nobody has an answer?
MUDD: Nobody has an answer that because they can't figure out, do we allow Assad to continue which means supporting a dictator or do we support the continuation of the Civil to Al-Assad which means ISIS has the safe haven, the space to continue to operate. That is not an easy choice. That's why the president has grey hair and that's why candidates will not want to answer that choice.
COOPER: All right. Michael for you, what would (inaudible)?
WEISS: Yeah I agree with Phil and also Clarrisa. I mean, Syria is derived of all evil here. That's a cancer that is metastasized and spread well beyond. I mean even the immediate vicinity and in a region. You're seeing it in Paris and Brussels and Istanbul as a European city for all intents and purposes. And I remember a Syrian rebel on record in 2012 saying, look, you guys can give us a no-fly zone today or you'll have drones in the sky tomorrow. Take your pick and that's essentially the eventuality we've seen, right.
COOPER: I mean, the flip side of -- I mean, on one hand it sounds very appealing to say well, you know, let Assad just continue to rule and kind of finish up with the war. What that actually means though is, there's a lot of people who are going to get killed by Assad and imprisoned by Assad and tortured by Assad just what they have been for generations.
MUDD: That's right, but we have a simple reality check, Anderson, after the Arab Spring of 2011. That is security means, you have stability. That means there's not a Civil War. There's not space for ISIS to operate. COOPER: Right.
MUDD: Lack of security, I hate to say this, democracy means instability. Religious divides worsen, ethnic divides worsen. You have broad divides among Shia and Sunni for example on Syria.
If you want to enforce our idea, western idea of democracy, that almost guarantees stability. And so I would say, you want security, you can eliminate ISIS, but you get dictators. You want democracy, you get instability, that for sometime may mean ISIS.
WEISS: And yeah, we tend to focus too much sometimes on ISIS. They're not the only bad guys out there.
WEISS: Remember Al-Qaeda, they stand to gain enormously if and when ISIS is defeated in Syria.
COOPER: There's always going to be some group.
WEISS: There's always going to be some group and by the way, I mean ISIS 2.0, we haven't seen what that looks like yet, but it's coming down the pike. I mean, Sunni Arabs still feel this enormous sense of dejection and disillusionment. They're behaving even though their majority sec of Islam behaving like a believer minority because they think there is this global conspiracy and ISIS is tapping into that. That is part of their narrative.
COOPER: And here -- and Clarissa, I mean we have seen, you know, escalating attacks inside Turkey over the last year or two.
WARD: Yes we have and you're going to continue to see them for the reasons that you just heard from Michael and from Phil Mudd of course. Essentially President Bashar Al-Assad is the oxygen that allows ISIS to breathe. He is their raison d'etre. And as long as Assad is in power and dropping barrel bombs with impunity on civilians and rebel held areas, you will have the likes of ISIS, you will have the likes of Al-Qaeda and you will have the likes of George Sabra Al-Nusra.
And Turkey understands this better than most and they have an excellent intelligent service, but the problem that they have is that ISIS has grown more and more powerful. There are many Turkish citizens within ISIS' ranks who have become radicalized. Even with the best intelligence in the world and any intelligent service will tell you this, you can't be right every single time.
COOPER: You know Juliette, I think I've been in three European airports in the last month and none of them in the departures area, you know, when you first enter none of them had car checks before the airport. None of them had x-ray scanners as this airport did, even before to bring your bags in to the check-in area.
One of them and I remember seeing a few (inaudible) arms with automatic weapons, but that was it. And there were hundreds of people milling around. I mean, these are easy targets. KAYYEM: Exactly. I mean, just the flow of people in a global environment like ours cannot sustain it self, if the security apparatus is too strong. So we tend to talk about layered security, right? So you think about an airport. The cockpit is probably the most secured area or at least we hope it is.
But the further you get away from the airplane and the security checks and then to the sidewalk, let alone the parking structure where there seems to be some reporting something was happening there, you're eventually going to have a soft target.
KAYYEM: And so we try to layer it, right, at various points, but you're always going to have that soft moment so to speak at a place like an airport with millions of people passing by annually.
COOPER: Yeah, Juliette Kayyem, Phil Mudd, Michael Weiss, thank you so much. I want to thank Clarissa Ward. Everyone on our panel thanks for watching as well.
CNN breaking news coverage continues now with Don Lemon.
[22:00:11] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right Anderson, thank you very much.