President Obama Makes Statement on NY, NJ Bombings

The president says officials are "moving smartly" in the investigation of events that unfolded in New York and New Jersey.
21:29 | 09/19/16

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Transcript for President Obama Makes Statement on NY, NJ Bombings
This is an ABC news special report. George Stephanopoulos. Good morning were coming out there right now because President Obama is about speech in New York City. About this spate of bombings over the weekend Bob Simon Chelsea New York which exploded Saturday night bombs in seaside New Jersey Saturday morning. Another bomb detonated after being taken over by officials lesson was New Jersey a suspect. Is being searched for the man seen on the surveillance video that's actually the video of the explosion on Saturday night. In Chelsea but the man seen on the surveillance video dropping packages in that neighborhood motto Hani. 28 years old. Born in Afghanistan. Naturalized US citizen now being hunted by police I'm here at our chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross. And Brian officials now believe that this man is connected to all of the bombings over the weekend. That's right all four bomb experiences the attack on the charity race for Marines. In New Jersey the bombs found overnight at the train station in New Jersey. And of the two bombs here in New York the surveillance video in New York indicated they saw him at both sites planting a bomb leaving a bag. They've also been able to track through a cell phone the bomb that did not explode. Had a cellphone attached to it by exploiting the information on that cellphone they attracted back to around his father which settlement of the suspect. And the police have also been able to identify his car a Honda Civic a blue Honda Civic they spoken to his family members who were apprehended. On the verrazano narrows bridge narrows bridge last night. That's right there were five family members FBI was following them surveillance on them. As they cross the bridge into a New York City they believe they might be heading to the Kennedy Airport and they pulled them over there are now in custody being questioned. About the whereabouts of their 28 year old son. When the Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas as well appear the FBI all over this. Right now they wanted to get the word out to prevent this arrived from leading the country but I want to stop you right there because we are now seeing pres Obama let's listen your New York. Explosions occurred here in New York City in New Jersey and the other device. Have been found in New Jersey. I've been monitoring the situation closely it. And receiving frequent updates from my team and I've just been briefed again. By FBI director call me. In addition I've had a chance to speak where governor is far more crisply as well as mayor to block your. We've Seymour was apparently a pipe bomb go off in New Jersey. In seaside park board could have seriously injured or US Marines spectators who were there for race. The bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood your New York injured more than two dozen people. We are extremely fortunate and grateful that nobody was killed. Our prayers go out to all of those who have been injured we want to wish them a speedy recovery. I especially want to commend all of the outstanding police and first responders and vote New York City and New Jersey for their. Extraordinary professionalism. And their quick response which surely prevent it. Even more people from being hurt and insure that. People got. Assistance quickly. An investigation is moving rapidly. And as as my practice I'm gonna leave it to the FBI and law enforcement provide details a finger but is aware at this point that there is. A person of interest. Who is the focus. The investigation. And the FBI and giving further details in terms of how that is proceeding. I told governors Cuomo and Christian and mayor blog joked that they and their teams will continue to have all federal support. As they move ahead with their investigations. And tracking down every lead and working to keep the people of this city and of this region safe. Law enforcement is asking for the help of the community and so everybody in this region. I want to repeat. What we've said before if you see something suspicious. Than you need to say something contact local law enforcement. In the meantime I would ask that the press try to refrain from getting out ahead. The investigation. Extraordinarily. Happy with the cooperation that's been taking place between the FBI. And state and local law enforcement officials. There are moving smartly on this investigation. It does not help if false reports. Or incomplete information is out so try to as much as possible. Stick to what our investigators say because they actually know what they're talking about. Meanwhile I know that the United Nations meetings here every year already create. An additional workload for New York. But given the UN meetings we also have particularly high level of federal resources here to help as needed. We're make sure that her body is working together seamlessly as one team. To get to the bottom of what happened to find those responsible and make sure that justice is done. Meanwhile while all this is going on in new York and New Jersey were also focused on the stabbing attack at the shopping mall in Minnesota. At this point we see no connection between that incident and what happened here in new York and New Jersey. Our attention mayor is on the people who were injured and again we are very grateful that no one lost their life. Thanks to the quick action of a brave off duty police officer the suspect was killed and reported more people being hurt. I had a chance also to speak with governor Dayton this morning. I assured him that we will provide all the assistance that he needs in the investigation. The FBI is investigating. The Minnesota incidents as a potential act of terrorism. We will direct the full resources the federal government. To make sure that the investigation. Goes forward. Aggressively. Fire marijuana tickets up Terry to reassure. The people in this city this region and Americans across our country but our counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals at every level. Federal state and local are working together. Around the clock to prevent attacks and to keep us safe. They are the best of the best over the years therefore that many plots and saved many lives. And we are incredibly grateful for their service today and every single. We will continue to lead the global coalition on the fight to destroy axle which is. Instigating. A lot of people over the Internet. To carry out attacks. We are gonna continue to go after them we're gonna take up the leaders we're gonna take out their infrastructure. They are continuing to lose ground in Iraq. And in Syria and later today I'll be meeting with prime minister of body of Iraq to discuss. The need to sustain that momentum. As we take away more of their territory. It exposes Beisel as the failed cause that it is and it helps to undermine their ideology which over time make it harder. For them to recruit and inspire people to violence. And we're gonna continue to and less. Tech companies and community and religious leaders to push back against online extremist content. And all messages okay. It odd moments like this I think it's important to remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do. They are trying to hurt innocent people they also want to inspire fear in all of us. And disrupts. The way we live. Undermine our values. And so even as we have to be vigilant and aggressive both in preventing. Senseless acts of violence but also making sure that we. Find those who carry out such acts and bring them to justice. We all have a role to play as citizens. In making sure that we don't succumb to that fear and there's no better example of that than the people of new York and Jersey. When I speak in the Governor Cuomo and governor Crist the mayor to blog 01 point that they all made is. You know folks around here. They don't get scared. They're tough they're resilient. They go about the business every single that and that kind of toughness and resolute in this. And a recognition that. Neither individuals. Nor. Organizations like Geisel can ultimately. Undermine our way life that's the kind of strength. That. Makes me so proud to be an American and that's the kind of strike that is going to be absolutely critical. Not just in the days to come but in the years to come. By showing those who want to do us harm that they will never beat us. My short in the entire world that as Americans we do not and never woke given the field. That's going to be the most important ingredient. In us defeated. Those who would carry out terrorist acts against us. Thank you very much her body and as I said. You will be receiving onshore ongoing retreat from both the FBI and local law enforcement in terms of the details. The investigation. President Obama wrapping up in that new information is coming in right now as the president was speaking. We have learned that the suspect Hoffman for honey is in fact in police custody was taken in Linden New Jersey. Or put up that photo right now showing him after he was apparently shot. By police were told he's on his way to the hostel near their chief investigative correspondent. Brian Ross this information just coming in. Just coming in now confirmed by a federal and local law enforcement officials to ABC news. He was taken into custody in the last half hour in the in the New Jersey after what was the first described to us as an active shooter situations we don't have many of the details. But we do know according to police now that he is in custody he is taken alive he was being tracked in the AM blue Honda car about a few miles. On his home in Linden yeah earlier this morning we're speaking in their build was huge he did sound confident without saying so that they had indeed. On this man and Brad Garrett our FBI a former FBI special agent remarkable he was taken alive and I think George if you look at his MO. This kid didn't want to die he drops bombs remotely sets them off and then goes on the run and drops. You know over the weekend at least three different locations. So the idea that he got a shoot out he doesn't surprise me but that he also survived this spring and we have some video coming in right now apparently is video. A feeling the ambulance being taken. Into the hospital right now you see that is a senior lived in New Jersey there was just a short. Rise several miles from Elizabeth, New Jersey where his family members apparently had a home and I want to that Lindsey Davis now who's been at Elizabeth. All morning long the FBI searching through one of those homes. That's right George we. Continue to see a very active scene here the roads for several blocks remain a blog dog of FBI agents. Who continue to go even in out of the apartment just above the first American fried chicken that we've learned that apparently his father owns this fried chicken business. He is said to have lived above. The suspect is said to have lived above it in the apartment at least that was his last known address he apparently from time to time still worked. Add to this fried chicken business and another active scene still just a few miles away here remains at the Elizabeth train station where last night had those two men. Other found a backpack with those five to suspicious devices inside. Brian Ross think humans or put that video back up again the ambulance I just a few moments ago in New Jersey. There you see the suspect. Right there apparently conscious. Strapped in that stretcher but of course the fact that he's now in custody does not mean that this is over. Not by any means are still questions are whether he had accomplices. Who is and then when loses they're searching through his social media looking for contacts he may have had in this country or overseas. George Pierre Thomas on what do you have on them. The sources are telling us and obviously they are very happy about the fact this arrest has been made but they emphasize all morning that whenever this man was caught. That a lot of work had to be done some sources thought that he probably had some kind of support. They're looking at his entire background are also looking very closely at his Internet activity social media footprint. Because one of the things they want to know is was he directed to do this. Was he inspired by. Some organization like vices to do something like this George. The key here is that right now they want the public to continue to help them. Pursue this case. And Brad Garrett is is this information is coming in we know that his family members were detained. On the verrazano narrows bridge less than perhaps hitting Kennedy Airport but they have not been arrested. Correct which would tell us at least on the front end there's note. Immediate or direct connection between the family and him and these bombings now. It still remains to be seen about what they believe knoller don't know about his behavior but no charges obviously yet no charges yet the verb and Brian Ross this is getting. The heart of so many of these recent. She means when you see people inspired not necessarily. Connected others who can't make that determination here yet although it appears that Minnesota standing. On Saturday at this was a man is clearly not directed. I saw throughout little ice is fame he was a soldier for them. In this case the big break came with cellphones and cameras. The bomb that did not explode in New York Saturday night that had a cellphone attached to it and by 3 in the morning early Sunday morning. They had that cell phone they tracked the number it went back to Romney's father. That then put Romney himself. On the target list for them he became a person of interest. There are watching him all day so really within a matter of twelve to fourteen hours they had a pretty good idea who the suspect was and as they looked at surveillance videos they saw him not only. At both sides in a New York but they believe they see him on pictures although there grainy in New Jersey in advance of that of marine she. Already run hissy was carrying covering a fair amount of ground but so far right here we don't have the kind the evidence of the kind of network that we've seen on the taxing year. Now in George he's another example I believed to either be a lone wolf. Or maybe you're gonna have one or two other people with him. But this is a guy maybe has some direct or indirect connection to crisis but my guess is planned this pretty election self and launched it. But was able to. Construct several different explosive device which is what George that's often difficult to do everyone on the bombs at least having been described you can find on line. And within a few hours you and I could probably build those bonds sale you have made the perhaps perhaps but that the idea dean this is just not that difficult to do if you're willing to take the risk to do it. And look at what he did. He dropped bombs walked away any didn't drop them in. High elite populated or. A place where people gather regularly obviously New York residents loosely populated places kind of random place so random places and are also. In my view odd places why would you drop a bomb next to a dumpster. Knowing logically the dumpsters going to be you know absorbed part of your bomb. It's fair is sort of and richer it as far as this approach as far as I'm concerned and brand these pressure cooker bombs very much like those bonds constructed by this and I have Brothers the Boston Marathon. Absolutely is a classic bomb his by terrorists there's a very precise set of instructions online how to build and that's exactly. How seniors are -- of brother build his bombs. It appears that same recipe as it were. Was used in this case. You know one didn't go off for whatever reason that was the big break in the case because then. With a unexploded bomb there wouldn't go through and look for fingerprints DNA and of course that key cell phone which was led them to the suspect. You know he has been the question now is are there other devices he may have planted elsewhere where the devices left for. And there was one report of perhaps a device at the scene in winning New Jersey where he was finally taken down for join in the photo by Jon Cohen and his former directly measure counterterrorism. Some also former FBI agent as well and and John this comes at a time. When New York City on the highest state of alert because of all these world leaders here for the UN general assembly including President Obama. Yeah that's absolutely right Georgia. To win the UN general assembly takes place police. Our our hands on got if a heavy security presence has said ingesting that they would pick two. That time period to do these types of attacks. Some speculation that perhaps. Mr. Romney was trying to get rid of one of the bombs last night when news does their when it was fun and Elizabeth. A New Jersey to train station heading into New York. You know it makes sense I mean obviously you have to feel about investigators are beginning to close in need they had acquired more evidence they were looking at video. And it's sort of hint that maybe he dumped the bombs in this trying to get away. And and you know this does seem to fit a pattern we've seen here in the United States. Over the last year increasingly. Long groups is as bright careless argue that the group's. Individuals acting on their own perhaps self radicalized maybe width one partner no sign yet of a broad network. The exact way increasingly. Law enforcement authorities have become even more concerned about the threat posed by individuals who are inspired by what they see on social media inspired or what they see on the Internet informed about how to carry out attacks. I like they feel on the Internet they're backing independent terrorist organizations. Very different problem for law enforcement to deal with and it really require that we change the way we think about how we investigate particularly that are coming in to law enforcement about people who may pose a threat. And in brown rice chances that this this problem could get worse even as you know you heard President Obama just a minute of the talk about the progress being made. Against ice is on the battlefields of Iraq. And Syria but that could create more problems in Europe as fighters flowing out of Iraq and Syria into Europe and more problems here in the United States will. That's been concerned certainly in Europe about ices foreign fighters who have gone to Syria and Iraq and then have come back armed and ready to take action. And in many cases ice is sends notes to his sympathizers including those here stay where you are attack where you are that we'll do us more good. There's no indication as to any particular motivation or lesions. That Romani if indeed fact is that he is suspect. Had but still of great concern we told there looking at as peer alluded to social media contacts he had with people he knew in Pakistan. And we know Pierre Thomas that ice is has been setting out broad messages across social media. Trying to simply get people excited get them to go take matters into their own hands. Absolutely George and we're also hearing from our sources that charges could be levied against the suspect as early as today. They believe that they have enough evidence to bring charges could come as early as today. And George you're absolutely right if you put in perspective what does happen and Minnesota with the stabbing. This case the FBI and law enforcement in this country right now they're under tremendous. Pressure. We don't know what this case in the New Jersey area is tied to prices but there are more than 800 different suspects that the FBI's identified. As to simplify I think with prices. And there are various levels of investigation. Involving those people in all fifty states think about that and what the FBI directors that over and over again. It's the people that they may not have come across that they're. Would be the biggest threat now so far we have no indication. That this suspect was on the FBI's radar we're going to be digging to get to that more and more. As the day goes on but that is to early galleon and then that's the question wanted to follow up finding this this did not turn up any on any kind of Afghan intelligence chatter even this. This incident or the one in Minnesota on Saturday. Well again nests early guidance. The first brushed suggests that but again there will be going through computer files checking would different agencies and make sure it. Nothing was missed sometimes they will turn up something that they did know was there but that is to early indication that these people were not on the radar which is again. The threat that looms large going forward. Okay Pierre Thomas Brian Ross Brad Garrett thank you all very much Lindsey Davis in Elizabeth. As well once again the suspect in the bombings here in New York in New Jersey are man Ronnie has been taken into custody has been shot now in the hospital. In New Jersey federal charges expected to be filed today. We're going to be back at 1230 when then mayor of New York governor of new York and then. Police commissioner will all be. Giving us the latest on the investigation I'm George Stephanopoulos view. This has been a special. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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