Chilling New Twist in London Investigation

Cops say assailants tried to rent a large truck
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2017 6:30 AM CDT
London Terrorists Tried to Rent a Truck
One of the knives used in the London Bridge attack.   (Metropolitan Police London via AP)

The London Bridge attack could have been far worse. Aiming to kill even more people, the terrorist trio tried to rent a 8.3-ton truck on the morning of the attack, Reuters reports. The bid failed when ringleader Khuram Butt failed to provide payment information. The chilling new details came hours before cops carried out raids in east London and arrested two more people, bringing the total in custody to seven. They found a Koran in the attackers' safe house open to a page on martyrdom. Butt ended up renting a van, which the men used to make two test runs on the bridge before mowing down pedestrians, killing three. In his most detailed description of the attack yet, UK counter-terror chief Dean Haydon said the van was stocked with 13 wine bottles filled with flammable liquid and stuffed with rags like Molotov cocktails, plus blowtorches to light them, per the Guardian.

Haydon revealed the attackers rampaged through crowded Borough Market with pink ceramic kitchen knives with 12-inch blades strapped to their wrists. Their fake suicide belts were actually plastic water bottles. The van was filled with items like office chairs and bags of gravel either to add more weight or perhaps to hide the deadly cargo, Haydon said. Although more arrests are expected, Haydon said cops do not believe the men were taking orders from anyone else, though ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. In all, three of those killed were French, two Australian, one Canadian, one Spanish, and one British. (The truck-hire bid has echoes of last year's deadly Nice attack.)

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