Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

London attackers planned to use lorry


He is a 33-year-old man arrested on a street in Ilford, east London, yesterday on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs, and further arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.

The ringleader of the London terror attack last week tried to rent a 7.5-ton truck, British police have said, indicating the attackers were looking to carry out a larger-scale assault.

Officers believe the jihadi gang used the makeshift leather belts, with water bottles covered in silver duct tape, to deter marksmen from shooting them, possibly because they meant to surround themselves with human shields.

Dick urged people to alert police if they saw something suspicious, if someone they knew started to "behave strangely", or if they had concerns about someone hiring a vehicle.

"My colleague had been listening to the police radio channel and he came running in to tell me a van had ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge", Inspector Cole said. Khuram Butt, a 27-year-old Pakistan-born British citizen, had to take a van instead, when the card he tried to pay with did not go through.

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at New Scotland Yard, in London Saturday, June 10, 2017.

At about 1730 GMT, the men drove to pick up the van before heading to Zaghba's home in east London. He hired the van used in the attack from a B&Q store in Romford on the morning of the attack.

Eighteen people have been arrested in connection with last week's attack.

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Police also revealed that the attackers had stored petrol bombs - several wine bottles filled with flammable liquid and rags wrapped around them - in the van, but police fatally shot the trio before they could return to the van and kill even more people.

The three terrorists had tied 12 inch (30cm) pink ceramic knives to their wrists and had petrol bombs in the van. Once across they turned around and travelled back the way they came, before turning around at the top and setting off on their final deadly journey, ploughing into pedestrians as they went.

Haydon said since last Saturday they had taken 262 statements from people from 19 different countries and numerous worldwide inquiries were ongoing relating to the attackers and the victims. In an image of the white rented vehicle, at least two of the crude explosives could be seen at the door of the passenger seat, alongside two blow torches.

Mr Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism Command, said: "We've been working round the clock to understand what these men did in the lead-up to the attack but we need to know more about these unusual knives".

The kitchen knives are branded Ernesto, police said.

But Haydon said "there was no evidence uncovered of any attack-planning in relation to him".

Haydon said it remained a fast-moving investigation, but said police now had a clearer understanding of the movements of the terrorists on the day in question.

"From what I'm seeing, there is nothing that suggests at the moment that we got that wrong", Haydon said, referring to Butt.

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