Police first responder describes London Bridge attack mayhem

Aaron Brown
June 12, 2017

A copy of the Quran, equipment for making petrol bombs, plastic bottles and duct tape for constructing fake suicide bomb belts, and an ID card for Redouane were found from the house.

Although Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, Haydon said there was no evidence the attackers - Pakistani-born Briton Khuram Butt, Italian Youssef Zaghba and Rachid Redouane who had links to Libya, Morocco and Ireland - were directed by anyone else, either in Britain or overseas.

Commander Dean Haydon, who is leading the investigation, praised the bravery of the armed officers who shot the attackers dead despite the possibility they could have been killed in an explosion.

"I have not seen this tactic in the United Kingdom before, where terrorists create maximum fear by strapping fake explosives to themselves", he said.

"It could be that they had plans to take the attack in to a siege situation or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves", Haydon said.

Butt, 27, Zaghba, 22 and Redouane, 30, were still wearing the belts when they were shot dead by armed officers within eight minutes of their marauding attack beginning.

The officer leading the investigation said use of the belts was a "tactic" he had not seen before in the United Kingdom and one that created "maximum fear".

He paid tribute to his colleagues, including Charlie Guenigault, an off-duty officer who was stabbed as he tackled the terrorists with his bare hands.

"One possibility is Butt had considered targeting the tennis tournament but made a decision to speed up the plot, following the Manchester Arena bombing, and switched the attack to London Bridge", the paper said. "I did see one of our customers get stabbed by one of the guys and the one who was standing beside me was shouting".

"At that point, I didn't know if the shots were us or potentially the attackers".

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The men were armed with identical 30-cm pink ceramic knives, strapped to their wrists with leather bound around the handle. The question remains how the men met and knew one another but police said Saturday they did not suspect a wider plot.

The question remains how the men met and knew one another but police said Saturday they did not suspect a wider plot. "We can not for a second assume there is no one out there who is not intent on highly elaborate methodology; there probably are, so we need to secure our airliners".

After getting the news that the immediate threat had been dealt with, Inspector Cole went to relay the information to the members of public sheltering in the pub.

"From updates on the radio, we were aware that people had got out the van and were attacking people in the market", he added. I asked my officers to form a cordon to stop the public from going into the market, and that's when the shooting started just behind us.

"So I literally just grabbed hold of as many as we could and directed them into the basement of the bar".

He also received warning over the radio that the attackers were wearing suicide vests.

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

After leaving the vehicle, the terrorists used 12in ceramic knives with pink blades in a stabbing spree.

A number of people are still in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of terror-related offences, with detectives saying they expect to make more arrests and search further addresses in the coming days as their fast-moving investigation continues.

Investigators have spoken to 262 people from 19 different countries in connection with the probe, 78 of whom are "significant" witnesses.

Since the attack, 20 people have been arrested, with 13 buildings searched.

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