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At Least 19 Killed, 50 Wounded In Manchester Arena Blast; British PM to Chair Emergency Meeting Investigating The Manchester Explosion; Witnesses Describe The Scene Outside The Arena; Police Treating Manchester Explosion As Terrorism. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 23, 2017 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm IshaSesay live in Los Angeles.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Vause. Just on 10:00 on the West Coast. Our breaking news this hour: at least 19 people are dead, 50 others have been wounded after the explosion just outside the Manchester arena on Monday night. All happened, around 10:35 p.m. local time following a concert by the Pop Star Ariana Grande. Fear and panic erupted as the crowd of 20,000, many of them teenagers desperately tried to get out of the venue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! What's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's happening?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: You can hear that boom, that rumble, and the screams that erupted. A Western Law Enforcement official tells CNN, a man has been identified at the scene as a probable suicide bomber. So, far there has been no claim of responsibility.

VAUSE: Witnesses just outside the arena say there were bodies everywhere.

SESAY: CNN spoke with a number of people who were actually inside when the blast happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMIE WALLER, WITNESS CONCERTGOER: We were in the concert. She just finished. She walked off and we all got up to leave and we all went down the stairs into the outer part, and then there was just this huge bang. So, everyone just like looked at each other and there was just a mad rush to get out because nobody knew what was happening.

DUNCAN ROCKLEDGE, WITNESS CONCERTGOER: The concert finished and we turned to walk up the steps. It was just myself and my daughter, and as we queuing to get to the steps, a door -- an exit door to our left, there was a very loud explosion and people immediately came running back into the arena and everybody in the arena, then, turned around and headed in opposite directions in panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Manchester Police Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins, says investigators are treating this as a terrorist incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IAN HOPKINS, MANCHESTER POLICE CHIEF CONSTABLE: As you all understand, we're still receiving information and updates so we'll provide further detail when we have a clearer picture. I want to thank people for their support; advice then to remain vigilant. And if they have any concerns at all, to report them to the national anti- terrorist hotline. The number is 800-789-321. It is important also that people here in Manchester avoid the area around Manchester Arena so that emergency services can continue to effectively deal with the incident at that location.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: And Pop Star, Ariana Grande, is tweeting about the attack. She put this out a short time ago, "broken from the bottom of my heart. I am so, so sorry. I don't have words."

VAUSE: We have extensive coverage of this story. Starting with Producer Zane, who is live from the Manchester Arena. So, Zayn Nevi, tell us it is now daylight there -- what it's just been up about three past six in the morning. What's the latest from where you are?

ZAYN NEVI, CNN PRODUCER: People are waking up to a heartbreaking morning here in Manchester. It's absolutely unbelievable and senseless what went on here last night. 20,000 people coming to watch U.S. Pop Star, Ariana Grande, perform. You played some of the injury -- some of the interviews earlier, where we heard from the likes of Jamie Waller about having to escape from the arena with her sister, having seen bodies, and fatality is strewn. Just to remind everyone, 19 people killed, and at least 50 people injured. We wait for more updates this morning from the emergency services, but it's very somber and it's very heartbreaking here in Manchester this morning.

SESAY: All right. Thank you, Zayn. We want to go now Erin McLaughlin who is live outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Erin, what's the latest you're hearing on the condition of the injured?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha, this is a hospital, really, operating under extraordinary circumstances. Let me let the camera pan over to really sort of set the scene here. You can see just outside the accident and emergency department -- red signs, declaring that there has been a major incident saying authorized personnel only. There's also a police presence outside this hospital. This is one of six hospitals treating victims from this horrible explosion. We were speaking to eyewitnesses -- one eyewitness who walked out of

the hospital, 17-year-old Ellie Ward. She said that she was inside the arena at the time of the explosion. Ariana Grande had just left the stage, finished her last song. When the explosion could be heard, she said she felt the explosion. She was there with a friend. Her grandfather had just arrived to pick her up. He sustained a head injury and has been admitted to this hospital; one of some 59 victims to be admitted to the hospital overnight. We are waiting for an update on the conditions of the patients, the types of injuries sustained. The hospital here expects to give an update in the coming hours.

[01:05:31] VAUSE: Erin, if you look at some of the images from inside the Manchester Arena, there's clearly people rushing to get out, there's chaos, and there have been some reports that maybe a number of those people who were injured were injured during the crash to get out. Is there any idea, at this point, how many people were wounded in the blast, how many may have been injured in that race to get out of the stadium and get to safety?

MCLAUGHLIN: You know, at this moment, it's not entirely clear. We're still waiting from authorities here in Manchester for an update just in terms of the types of injuries sustained. We know that we spoke to one woman in her 30s. She arrived here at the hospital. Her mother and sister were caught up in the blast. They sustained glass injuries. So, we're hearing of a range of different types of injuries, based largely on eyewitness accounts. We're still waiting to hear from officials exactly what sort of injuries they're seeing, what sort of injuries they're treating. Again, this is just one of six hospitals in total throughout Manchester treating the injured.

SESAY: And Erin, to that point, it is one of six hospitals. This is an enormous undertaking for those hospitals dealings with scores and scores of injured. Do we know how they're doing? How well they're coping, whether they've had to bring in extra personnel?

MCLAUGHLIN: Not at this time. We know that some 60 ambulances responded to the scene of this explosion. But again, if those red signs outside this hospital are any indication, it had been very much all hands on deck, the fact that these hospitals are not admitting regular patients. The fact that it's authorized personnel only to walk through those doors really gives an indication of how tasking, how difficult it was to respond to this really extraordinary emergency situation -- tragic situation.

VAUSE: And finally, Erin, we know that, you know, at this concert a lot of young people. So, there are those who've been physically injured, the people that we know about that who are getting admitted to the hospital. But then, there are the key people who will be emotionally scarred, who will be dealing with some kind of psychiatric issues, or some called post-traumatic stress issues, and they're young -- they're young kids. So, what is being set up to cater for those people to try and deal with their needs?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, immediately -- the immediate concern, obviously, is with the victims, or the walking wounded, the people sustaining life- threatening injuries at the scene. We also know of a hotline that has been set up for relatives who are missing their loved ones. There's a special number that's been set up here in Manchester that they can dial and try to find their loved ones. I can only imagine the horror that they must be feeling. Say parents who may be missing their kids; kids who were at that concert. So those are the types of immediate responses that we have been hearing, but we know that in these types of incidents, it is very common for local authorities to be offering to counsel as well. I can imagine that they are setting up those facilities to help those kids cope with this horrific explosion.

VAUSE: Yes. And also, clearly, for the parents who took their kids to the concert, this concert and will try to find them outside, and they're still trying to work out where their children may be. You know, happenings some of these kids are unaccounted for. That is ongoing as well. Erin, thank you. Erin McLaughlin live for us there, outside a hospital in Manchester.

SESAY: Thank you, Erin. Let's bring you now, Max Foster, he's outside 10 Downing Street in London. Max, to you, I know that the British Prime Minister will be chairing a cobra emergency meeting shortly. What are our expectations?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Well, we just heard from the British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and she said that full details of exactly what happened were still emerging, so still very much alive investigation. Not officially calling it a terrorist attack at this point, but certainly, all that latest information and intelligence will be fed into the cobra meeting, an emergency meeting of Senior Ministers, chaired by the Prime Minister.

But also Senior Security officials as well and Police officials, all of that new information will be fed into that meeting and any decisions will be made. In terms of a national response, off the back you've asked, we heard from Amber Rudd saying that this was in her words a "barbaric attack," similar language coming from the Prime Minister overnight as well but expecting more of full statement today. And we'll see some visits up to Manchester as well a bit later on once the emergency services or -- really got a hold of the situation out there, Isha.

[01:10:02] VAUSE: Max, why is it that we're hearing from U.S. authority here about, you know, this being a -- most likely being a suicide bomber, who carried out the attack, that they've may have identified, you know the man who was, in fact, the suicide bomber, and all of this information seems to be coming from sources outside of the U.K. Is it just they are reluctant to release any of this information, is it a budges of caution, or is it just a different procedure when it comes to the investigation?

FOSTER: Well, it's all from the way of the very close intelligence sharing between the U.S. and the U.K. And the U.S. can literally just look at a lot of the information going into the U.K. system, and they effectively leak information much more regularly than they do here in the U.K. Also, the way the laws work here in terms of criminal -- you know, it's called "contempt of court," effectively if you publish anything in this country or you sent in this country which could affect a future trial; the penalties are pretty severe. So, I think it's just a different way of -- I'm not saying that the information coming out of the U.S. isn't correct, but we certainly can't verify it from this end.

SESAY: Max, let me ask you this. You had said last hour and it's been reported that the British Prime Minister is suspending her election campaign. What are we hearing from her opponents? From -- have we heard in the Labour leader? Have we heard from the Lib Dem leader? What are we hearing?

FOSTER: Yes. So, they're Labour leader saying they've coordinated with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, saying that the general election campaign has been suspended indefinitely it seems. And also the Liberal Democrats, the third party, saying the same thing. The leader of Scottish National Party as well, also expressing -- issuing a statement and expressing a concern for what happened down in Manchester in relation to her.

So certainly, this has put the general election campaign on hold, and all eyes on the investigation, really. You know, we haven't got long until this election, but they've all agreed that the most appropriate thing to do is focus on finding out what happened here and supporting all of those people who were affected. Some really horrific stories coming out from Manchester right now, and the young people involved is something that's really touched the nation here.

VAUSE: Just very quickly, Max, on a political point of view, is this, you know, they suspect this is a terror attack, will it impact the general election in any way?

FOSTER: Well, you know, the main subject of the general election is Brexit -- Britain leaving the European Union. Security hasn't been very high up on the agenda of the election campaign, but perhaps this will put it there and that's the only place of strength with Prime Minister. She was the longest serving Home Secretary in this country, oversaw a lot of the terror legislation in this country, and is an absolutely expert in that subject as well. So, she'll come out today and her whole messaging has been around being strong and stable. So, this is where she really sort of plays to her strengths. This is where she is stronger. So, this is a moment really for her to take control of a country's Prime Minister but it plays into the narrative of the election campaign as well.

VAUSE: OK. I guess we'll find out the in the coming hours of how Theresa May actually does respond to this, and how the public reacts. So, Max, thank you. Max Foster, live outside number ten.

[01:13:08] SESAY: Thank you, Max, and our thanks to Erin and Zane also. As so as CNN's mobile continuing coverage including people who witnessed the blast at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:16:55] SESAY: Hello everyone here's the latest on the breaking news in Manchester. Police are treating the explosion at the Ariana Grande concert as a terrorist incident at least 19 people were killed and 50 wounded. A male at the scene has been identified as the probable suicide bomber.

VAUSE: From Witnesses at the scene, they've described to us exactly what they heard and what they saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So everyone was leaving. It was a massive bang and I just looked up to where I heard it coming from and people were screaming and literally jumping out. And like everyone was just running because the doors are like upstairs, then it was just like the chaos from ere and as we got out there was a public service announcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't really see anything, but a loud bang and everyone ran, ambulance everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it was everywhere. And then there was a story of someone being shot but we know now it was an explosion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was at the Ariana Grande concert and we literally left the concert and that's when we heard this explosion while this fan goes off and everybody was screaming. And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was inside when it (INAUDIBLE) and everyone kind of chilled out and once we exited the door, there was things blown across the floor and we just ran straight away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Scenes of chaos there in Manchester. Let's go to CNN Hala Gorani who joins us from Manchester with the very latest. Hala, what can you tell us?

HALA GORANI, CNN LONDON BASED ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are right outside the arena in Manchester where the explosion took place, what is being treated now as a terrorist attack. Police are operating under that assumption until proven otherwise, the latest death toll we have from Greater Manchester police is 19 people killed, at least 50 injured. You might be able to hear helicopters flying overhead. It's still a very tight security situation here in Manchester around the arena where that Ariana Grande concert had just ended. Police believe that the explosion, the attack really we can say now with greater certainty happened as people were leaving the arena in a foyer, in a sort of entrance part a public space outside the arena, so not inside of the concert arena itself, but outside and that's where as a U.S. law enforcement has told CNN it is believed a suicide bomber detonated an explosive and caused so much carnage in Manchester.

Now, at the highest levels of the U.K. government, there are emergency meetings going on this morning and in a few hours Theresa May which calls cobra meeting in this country that is to assess the security situation and a response to this presumed terrorist attack. The big question now, of course, is going to be for law enforcement in this city across the country, if this indeed is a suicide bomber who helped, who supported, who helped organize this attack and also whether this individual a male, this western law enforcement official has told CNN acted alone. Back to you.

[01:20:25] VAUSE: And Hala, with that in mind we know exactly what has been happening over the last couple hours there in Manchester. The assumption would be that there have been, you know, I guess, you know, looking at anybody else who may have been involved which would include bringing people in, maybe police raids. Has there been any word on anything like that?

GORANI: Right. Well, I mean, this has become a familiar pattern and many western cities. We've seen it in Paris, we saw it as well, where now the important work of going backwards of backtracking from the movement of what is now presumed to be a terrorist attack, as I mentioned police operating under that assumption of going back to try and find the source of this, and as I mentioned it's extremely important now because at the U.K. has largely sort of escaped these types of attacks if indeed it's confirmed that this is somehow inspired by a terrorist group such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda. We don't know but if indeed that is the case, you know, a suicide bombing is not someone lashing out with a knife. This requires a certain degree of planning and sophistication, and this has got to worry officials here if it is confirmed, because that means that there has been some effort to build this suicide vest, to carry out this attack and that requires more than just sort of a spontaneous individual as we saw perhaps in that Westminster bridge attack a few weeks ago with a vehicle. So this is going to be the very difficult work now. We know counterterrorism forces in this country are working very hard. They're a part of this investigation, leading the investigation and trying to determine exactly who is responsible and whether or not a group of individuals rather than just one lone attacker is responsible for this presumed attack at this point, John and Isha.

VAUSE: Hala, thank you.

SESAY: Hala, thank you. Hala Gorani there in Manchester we appreciate it.

VAUSE: And joining us here in Los Angeles. CNN Law Enforcement Contributor Steve Moore, Counter-Terrorism Expert and Editor of The Foreign Desk Lisa Daftari and Josh Lockman a Lecturer in international law and U.S. foreign policy at the University Of Southern California. Steve first to you if it does turn out this is, in fact, a suicide bomber and it's looking that way, what's the bet that he was non he was on some kind of list at some point? But then he kind of slipped through the cracks and he was up for that and this is the end result?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: That's a good possibility, but it's not a foregone conclusion because remember, they're not going to kill their -- let their bomb makers die in suicide.

VAUSE: That, what I'm saying is that every time we have these attacks nine times out of 10 they knew the guy beforehand in some capacity.

MOORE: What I'm saying is that occasionally you get a suicide bomber who has just been brought in, who is idealistic and has no record. Likely though they know him and see that's going to help the post investigation because if they've been watching and they know everybody he's talked to they probably have records on all of his digital communications and right now what they're doing is going to these places, going to these people, setting up taps on them, setting up surveillance and there's a little bit of brinkmanship here. Do we want to go in and grab them or do we want to see what to see what they're going to do? And it's a risk that you -- that you really have to take sometimes.

SESAY: And Lisa, carrying on with this working assumption, as a U.S. law enforcement official says it was probably a suicide bomber. The question has to be, was he homegrown? Did he come in from somewhere else? I mean these are important question for law enforcement and how you conduct the investigation going forward.

LISA DAFTARI, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Yes absolutely, I mean for years we've been (INAUDIBLE) lone terrorism out of our vocabulary in Gargen because there's no such thing as lone wolf, even if this individual was carrying this out alone which is probably not the case because this was a very much a more sophisticated attack than we've seen. ISIS and if it ends up being ISIS, Al-Qaeda more so ISIS has designed just do it yourself Jihadi 101 kit that you can really launch an attack from anywhere. And yes, are you alone? Are you doing this as a freelance attack as you said before? No, because you have a network. You have a world of Jihadi supporting you but it's on social media. And we talked about

SESAY: What about locally in Manchester?

DAFTARI: In Manchester, there may be a local mosque or a community or a just a group of friends who get together and do this. We've seen all the cases that I mentioned that you see individuals that work alone, with family members and it takes months to track down each one of these individuals. Sometimes they're connected to other attacks within Europe. Sometimes they've come back from Syria or lived abroad and learned these tactics somewhere as well. Sometimes we find that they were on our terror list and we overlooked it, it's always 20/20 when were looking back. But the point is that its needle in the haystack and that's realization on a night like tonight when you realize, you know, twitter can take down a quarter million accounts like it did a few months ago and the report came out should we upload that or should we say that's just the beginning it's just the tip of the iceberg and there's so many more and for everyone that they take down is Jihadist put 10 more back up. So it's a very daunting task for law enforcement to go after these individuals. If they come on to a list, how can they be clear, how can we, you know, we suppose to detain everyone who comes under one of these lists? Very daunting.

[01:25:54] VAUSE: And Josh just to bring you in, there has been no claim of responsibility yet but the list of suspects out there is pretty short this is straight out Jihadi playbook 101 wasn't it?

JOSH LOCKMAN, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LECTURER OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: Yes, this does appear to be a signature either ISIS or Al-Qaeda attack, John. And I think what's important to notice, you know, the initial focus in this investigation will be on forensics. ISIS and especially what type of explosive was used here, ISIS in the past has used peroxide-based explosives, Al-Qaeda historically used ammonium-based explosives but also just underscoring what Lisa said, you know, upward to a 1,000 resident resistant's of the United Kingdom of last few years have gone to Syria and somewhere around a quarter of them have returned to the United Kingdom so to the degree that they were radicalized abroad and that we're finding this investigation that the suspect, the perpetrator and possibly a team that assisted him went abroad, it would likely be ISIS, but also in the same Vaughan, Al-Qaeda has sought to, you know, reclaim some of its metal, you know, we've seen Hamza bin Laden's, Osama bin Laden son coming out with an audio message in last few week declaring for more attacks against the west and the last attack, the 7-7 bombing was obviously an Al-Qaeda inspired and plotted attack.

VAUSE: Steve you want to time in there.

MOORE: Well, I agree with everything he said. I think what you're probably going to find in here is that this is probably a peroxide based, maybe try a acetone try peroxide, because -- I think it's ISIS because Al-Qaeda and ISIS have had some differences about targeting and whether you target people who are not combatants and Al-Qaeda would be more reluctant, not completely reluctant, but would be more reluctant to hit women and children than ISIS would. You know as to whether they considered them the exact the exact equal as far as targeting. And as far as this explosive is concerned, yes, exactly Al-Qaeda is using ammonium-based but I don't -- the size of this explosion, based on how small the bomb would have to be, would lead me towards a peroxide base.

SESAY: Steve is there a specific role for U.S. counterterrorist officials to play in this right now as it's unfolding in the U.K.?

MOORE: There's going to be because as Lisa said, the people who you're looking at are going to have communications with people all over the world and there is a very robust counter-terrorism group in the United States who's -- including the NSA who's monitoring things that are going on everywhere from Yemen to Aleppo to Racar and we can help with some of the, we could help fill in some of the gaps.

VAUSE: And finally, Lisa, as far as the messaging here, you know, killing women and children at a concert.

DAFTARI: They're infidel.

VAUSE: Yes.

DAFTARI: They're not believers. And that is what there is instructed to do to go after and you become Shahist a martyr.

VAUSE: Is this being some celebration on one right?

DAFTARI: There's always some sort of follow up. Now, whether or not they will claim responsibility. We'll have to wait usually it's within the 24 hour period and if it's not, they will definitely jump on board to insight more attacks and piggy backed on that and to send that messages to say look at how this guy killed, you know, x amount of people you can do the same. One thing I also wanted to point out here is that British authorities had put the security alert on severe that's a level two. Meaning they thought that it was highly probable that something was going to happen and it still happened.

VAUSE: Likely but not eminent.

DAFTARI: They go this is a full-time job, to kill the infidel.

SESAY: Yes.

DAFTARI: Women children.

SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: To Steve and Josh.

SESAY: We appreciate it, thank you. Thanks for joining us on this difficult evening. We appreciate it. We're going to take a quick break. We'll have much more on the deadly explosion rather in the United Kingdom straight ahead Hala Gorani picked up a live coverage from Manchester after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. We're live in Manchester. We are continuing our coverage of what police say is probably a terrorist attack at an arena where Ariana Grande, the pop star, was giving a concert yesterday evening. An explosion that took place at 10:35 p.m. Police are trying to determine who is responsible for this deadly explosion at the Manchester Arena. Thousands of people were pouring out of the arena behind me there when the explosion took place. Suddenly a huge blast.

This is what eyewitnesses had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.

Oh, my god.

What's happening?

What's going on?

Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIIED WITNESS: They were just letting everyone out. The music had just gone off. There was a massive, massive explosion. There was a bang. There was smoke coming up. There was smoke coming like up through the steps. And everyone was just screaming and saying it could be a bomb. And there were people shouting to their kids, people shouting trying to find people. There were just bodies scattered about everywhere. (INAUDIBLE). It was just chaos. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:36:06] GORANI: At least 19 people were killed according to greater Manchester police, more than 50 people wounded. This an area of the Ariana Grande concert. Her fans are mainly young female, teenagers as well. You can imagine if this is a terrorist attack as police expect, but it probably is, it was intended to target that particular demographic. And the scramble now for law enforcement officials to try to find out who is responsible and whether or not the individual, possibly a male suicide bomber, according to law enforcement officials who have spoken to CNN over the last several hours, is that person acted alone.

Nina dos Santos is in London, and she has more on the emergency response.

Also, Nina, I should say at the highest levels of the U.K. government this morning.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, we've got the cabinet meeting. Theresa May will be holding a special meeting called Cobra, which is when they respond to emergency situations. That's taking place two and a half hours from now. And you can bet there's a big scramble going on between security officers here, across the U.K., police, MI-5, MI-6, and also liaising with other authorities around the world to try to to find out what has happened here and who was responsible for it.

And remember, Manchester is a city that's seen recent bombs before but not in recent memory, of those targeted in this recent attack. The last time we saw a bomb in Manchester was back in 1996 when a shopping center was dropped by a 1,000-kilogram bomb planted by the IRA. 260 were injured in that blast.

Since then, the specter of Islamic terrorism has been in the background here. In fact, there was a plot thwarted back in 2016. And Manchester has been raising its security level to try and engage in a number of potential exercises to avoid situations like this. They had a few just in 2016 alone.

Hala, the fact this may have been a bombing rather than a knife attack or a car attack like we've seen in the last couple of months, really changes the game. It could be the first time we've seen that since all the way back in London, the bombings in the tubes in 7/07, and that was already more than 10 years ago -- Hala?

GORANI: Now, we don't have a claim of responsibility yet. But as you mentioned, a suicide bombing, if indeed, that's what happened at 10:35 p.m. in Manchester yesterday, that's a whole another level of sophistication and planning. You need to make the bomb, send a person out to detonate the bomb. This is not a car ramming or knife attack. At this point, I'm sure officials and law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are scrambling to try to find out as quickly as they can who the individual is and whether or not he was helped or assisted by a wider network, Nina. DOS SANTOS: Yes, Hala, and crucially, what they're going to be

looking at is what type of explosives could have been used here. Could it have been a peroxide bomb, a fertilizer bomber. We know, for some time, there's been a lot of debate about limiting the sale of these particular items. We also know MI-5 and MI-6 do look quite closely at who buys large amounts of fertilizer and large amounts of peroxide that could be used to make explosive devises like this. A number of suspects have been apprehended after buying large quantities of this. Remember, MI-5 has also been upping their efforts to monitor bomb-making channels online, online, on YouTube. They've been monitoring who has been watching those. Some suspects have been followed and apprehended on the back of that.

But what I should point out is the net is huge here. We know since Culaud Masood (ph) was brought down after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, we then found out there were 3,000 individuals that MI-5 was closely monitoring. And that gives you the scale of what authorities are trying to face here to try to deal with the number of effects of a number of people coming back from Syria, perhaps armed with bomb-making skills, individuals they may or may not know. Even the ones on the list they are monitoring are thousands -- Hala?

[01:40:51] GORANI: All right, you make a good point. And obviously one person under surveillance requires more than one law enforcement agent. It takes many, many people. And it's virtually impossible to keep an eye on every single person that law enforcement or police suspect of maybe of being interested in leaning one way or another towards this type of violence.

Thank you very much, Nina dos Santos in London.

As I mentioned, 19 people confirmed killed by greater Manchester police, at least 50 wounded. They've been fanned out, the casualties, across six hospitals in this major U.K. city

We'll have a lot more of our breaking news coverage after the break. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Welcome back, everybody. We continue our breaking news coverage of the blast at Manchester Arena. Welcome back to our viewers around the world and in the United States as well this hour.

Officials here are confirming 19 people killed at least 50 injured, though we've been seeing numbers much higher than that being treated at hospitals across this city with what police are saying are probably a terrorist attack. Law enforcement officials have told CNN they believe it is possibly, quote, "likely a suicide bombing" that happened in the box office area, the foyer, as they call it here in the United Kingdom where the Ariana Grande concert had just ended. The blast was absolutely huge. It was heard up to a mile away from the arena where I'm standing right now.

The big question now for law enforcement officials and counter terrorism agents as well is going to be to try to figure out who this individual is who carried out this attack because right now they're working under the assumption that it was a terrorist attack.

Let's take a look or listen to the city's chief constable and what he had to say overnight about the incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IAN HOPKINS, CHIEF CONSTABLE, GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT: As you'll understand, we are still receiving information and updates that will provide further detail when we have a clearer picture. I want to thank people for their support and ask them to remain vigilant. And if they have any concerns at all to report them to the national anti-terrorist hot line. The number is 0-800-789-321. It is important also that people here in Manchester avoid the area around Manchester Arena so that the emergency services can continue to effectively deal with the incident at that location.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, terror expert, Rodger Shanahan, an associate professor at Australian National University, and joins me now live from Sydney.

No claim now of responsibility, though, police are saying they're working under the assumption this was a terrorist attack. What do you make of that?

RODGER SHANAHAN, TERROR EXPERT & ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Well, certainly in the past, they find responsibility don't happy immediately. They'll filter out in the next day or two. But police as you've pointed out say it's a likely terrorist attack and also what you said possibly a suicide bomber. So we'll find out more about that in the coming hours I'm sure.

GORANI: Well, yes, we hope so as well. Police here in Manchester have updated us on the death as well as on the fact they believe it is likely a terrorist attack. So the big question for counter terrorism agents and forces in this country is if indeed this was a suicide bomber, this signals more sophistication, more planning than the kind of attack, for instance, that we saw in London on Westminster Bridge, the car ramming. And this is going to be a big challenge for them here.

SHANAHAN: Well, certainly the top of terrorist organizations particularly looking for the large signature attack with high casuals, you know, in the kind of center of a town that we've seen, that this one obviously is the kind of information that the police are obviously going to be trying to track down as quickly as possible is identifying who the person was, going through all the intelligence data, they've been able to collect, sifting through all the data and charting the hours and days leading up to it. Because the most important aspect of this is trying to work out what the network that put forward, planned and executed the attack is and whether they've got any other attacks in store. Something like this is not a lone-wolf attack. It takes a great deal of preparation. If the bomb was indeed a suicide bomb, and it takes a great deal to select a target and execute it at the right time. So for police it's going to be to identify who the attacker was and more importantly who the attack belongs to. [01:50:08] GORANI: And this happened in the U.K. If it is indeed a

suicide, it is more isolated to get to. The big question is, is this someone who was home grown? Someone who came from abroad? Those very important questions as well.

SHANAHAN: Absolutely. And we say the British police in particular, much more unified police force. It is not an island. The base for weapons is quite strong. So I think arresting and prosecuting a regular series of terrorist suspects, all security authorities want a 100 percent success rate but that is virtually impossible. You only need one to slip under the radar and to achieve some success. So it will be an unfortunate aspect for the British security services to address because this time, one has gotten under their radar. In the past, they've been very successful in arresting and breaking up the lone wolves in the past. Unfortunately, not this time.

GORANI: Rodger Shanahan, thank you very much.

Such a tragic attack. Young children, teenagers attending an Ariana Grande concert. That was the target of what police suspect was a suicide bomber. An absolutely horrific incident. Once again, innocents targeted and innocents hurt and killed.

We'll have more after this break.

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[01:55:56] GORANI: As we approach the top of the hour, we continue our breaking news of what appears to be a terrorist attack at Manchester Arena. We are right outside that arena right now. Police are confirming 19 people killed, more than 50 injured in that blast. The blast went off shortly after pop star, Ariana Grande, finished her concert. A male at the scene has been identified, we understand from officials, as a probable suicide bomber. So far, there's been no claim of responsibility. We continue to cover what appears to be a horrific attack on this very soft target. Many of Ariana Grande's fans, young girls, teenagers, all targeted by what appears to be this terrorist assault.

We'll have a lot more after a quick break on CNN. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with more breaking news in just a few minutes.

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