London Bridge attacker tried to rent larger truck

Metropolitan Police shows the van used in the London Bridge attacks last Saturday. Police say one of the attackers had tried to rent a larger truck but his payment did not go through

Metropolitan Police shows the van used in the London Bridge attacks last Saturday. Police say one of the attackers had tried to rent a larger truck but his payment did not go through

Pakistan-born Khurram Shazad Butt, Moroccan-origin Rachid Redouane and Moroccon-Italian Yousef Zaghba? rammed a high-speed van into pedestrians at London Bridge before proceeding on foot on a knife rampage in nearby Borough market.

The three Islamists who killed eight people after driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then attacking nearby revellers had initially tried to hire a 7.5 tonne truck, the head of the United Kingdom capital's counter-terrorism unit said on Friday.

The killers' ringleader Butt tried to hire a much bigger 7.5-ton lorry, but his card was declined.

Detectives investigating the London Bridge terror attack have made two further arrests, the Met Police have confirmed.

"I know people will be concerned about what's happened in the United Kingdom over the past 12 weeks including the two ghastly attacks in London, but London is a wonderful global city and we attract visitors from all over the world all the time and we love it because it is so diverse".

Butt and his two accomplices, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youseff Zaghba, 22, also loaded it with 13 Molotov cocktails, which police believe they meant to ignite after going on their stabbing spree. They all had the same black insulating tape around the handle, and were tied to the killers' wrists with shoelaces.

Haydon said the men may have been planning even more bloodshed if they made it back to the van.

Twelve other men arrested in the early stages of the investigation have all been released without charge.

Police also disclosed that multiple petrol bombs were discovered in the van, and a copy of the Koran opened at a page "describing martyrdom" was found at one of the attackers' houses.

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The aim of the attackers seems to have been to replicate the attack in Nice, the officer said.

"My observation is that in relation to the threat that we have been facing most recently and the attacks that have been successful and those that have been unsuccessful, the majority of them have a domestic focus if I can put it that way, a domestic centre of gravity". Eight minutes after police were alerted, armed officers arrived at the scene and fired 46 rounds, killing all three men.

During the attack, police say, all three men wore "hoax suicide belts consisting of plastic water bottles wrapped in grey duct tape".

Eight people were killed and the three attackers were shot dead by police.

They believe there will be many others who saw the incidents but have yet to contact police, and are asking them to come forward.

The knives the men used each measures 12 inches and are branded Ernesto.

Police said they found "13 wine bottles with rags wrapped around them and believed to be filled with a flammable liquid", as well as two blowtorches in the battered white van.

Commander Haydon said it was hard to speculate what the motive had been for wearing the belts, but said the three attackers may have had plans for a siege or might have seen them as possible protection from being shot themselves.

She said: "I would suggest to people that London is one of the safest cities on the planet but of course we want you to be vigilant".

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