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Analyzing the latest from London

MSNBC's Lester Holt talks with MSNBC terrorism analyst Juliette Keyyem about the latest arrests in England and the ongoing investigation into their involvment with the recent London attacks.
/ Source: msnbc.com

MSNBC analyst and terrorism expert Juliette Kayyem joined MSNBC’s Lester Holt on Tuesday to discuss the investigation of the London bombings. Kayyem analyzed the new information that surfaced Tuesday regarding the potential involvement of four suicide bombers, and voiced her personal opinions about their execution, backgrounds and motives regarding the incident.

To read an excerpt of their interview, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the “Launch” button to the right.

Lester Holt: I heard you mention to one of our earlier anchor teams that they were a bit vague on whether all four were suicide bombers, you’re not convinced necessarily that there’s not some folks running around out there.

Juliette Kayyem: The evidence is cutting both ways at this stage, on the one hand there’s personal property that was found at all four sites, which suggests maybe body parts or they left wallets, or wallets were blown up, or whatever else suggests they maybe were suicide bombers. On the other hand, it was odd that they were saying we have no evidence tight now that there were four suicide bombers, the only suicide bombing they referenced was the man on the bus, which we’d been hearing rumors the last couple days that there was someone who didn’t get off in time. So I’m reserving judgment for now until we sort of know what this thing looked like and who these people are. But the good news, at least in the investigation, is we have four names,

Holt: Well we don’t have them, the police have them.

Kayyem: Right and that’s good because its an ongoing investigation. And they have one arrest, its clear this thing is blowing up in good big way, in that sense, all these links are going to tie to what the cell was.

Holt: Are you surprised that it wasn’t in London, that they didn’t fight it in the communities, and that they thought they might in London?

Kayyem: I’m not because, remember, there was no hint that this was going to happen and that always surprised us, because the British have surveillance on all this, sort of, hotbed Mosques and the Islamic community. This is all rumor now, but some think that this happened in a diverse community, not known to be an Islamic community, or a hotbed of terrorism, and a community that may reflect the Pakistani community more than Arab Muslims. This would at least give me reassurance as to why the British didn’t know the attacks were coming from left field.

Holt: Now, let me understand, not only British authorities, but American authorities can learn from this. For example, if in fact these were British citizens, who are legally in the country, everything we see in this country seems aimed at immigration, keeping outsiders out of the country, MI5, as highly regarded as they are, do they tend to also look outside and not within?

Kayyem: They tend to look at immigrants and asylum seekers, the people that had been born and breed abroad, came into the country, either legally or illegally and were causing all sorts of unrest and organizing terrorism and other things like that. If it turns out that these people were born and breed in Britain, and that the conditions that created them were British conditions, it means a lot for counter terrorism, it means a lot for how we relate to these communities, and not to suggest that something went wrong, but it raises troubling questions about how could British citizens feel like this is the right thing to do.