Why the Fake Suicide Belts? 'Maximum Fear,' Say Cops

London police release images of the phony devices
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2017 10:00 AM CDT
London Cops Release Photos of Fake Suicide Belts
An undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police, London, of a fake suicide belt.   (Metropolitan Police)

The London Bridge attackers wore fake suicide belts to create "maximum fear" as they carried out their rampage, police said Sunday. The Metropolitan Police released photographs of the blood-splattered belts, which were made from plastic water bottles wrapped in duct tape, per the AP. Attackers Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba wore the belts when they mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market on June 3. They killed eight people before being shot dead by police. Police Commander Dean Haydon said the attackers may have worn the belts because they planned to take hostages, "or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves."

Geoff Ho, a Sunday Express journalist who was stabbed and injured in the attack, described in the newspaper how the belts factored into the fear. Ho said the attackers' "eyes were full of rage" as they entered a crowded bar, and he feared they were about to blow themselves up. "I couldn't just attack," he wrote. "If I charged at them, maybe I could take out one or two. But one of those animals could detonate and kill us all." Ho was stabbed in the throat by Butt. He credited his martial arts training with being able to fight off the attack enough to avoid being killed. The attackers also tried, unsuccessfully, to rent a big truck. (More London terror attack stories.)

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