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Appeal for information on knives used in London Bridge terrorist attack

News   •   Jun 09, 2017 23:36 BST

Police appeal for information about pink ceramic knives used in London Bridge terrorist attack

Detectives have today, Saturday, 10 June, released images of one of the distinctive pink knives used during the London Bridge terrorist attack.

The ceramic pink knives were found on or nearby the three attackers - Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba - after police shot them dead at approximately 22.16hrs on Saturday, 3 June.

The kitchen knives, each measuring 12 inches, are branded Ernesto and are ceramic, rather than metal.

The attackers had wound duct tape around the handles and in Butt's case, a leather strap had been attached to the handle and was hung around his wrist. It is this knife that police have released images of today.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met'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. Where have they come from? Where might the attackers have bought them from? If you know anything about these particular types of knives, please let us know - it could prove a crucial lead in our investigation."

Anyone with information can call the police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or visit and complete a secure form.

Detectives are also continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident itself and have today released images of the white Renault van, registration plate number HN66 TKX, used by the three men to carry out the attack.

The attackers first drove southbound onto London Bridge at 21.28hrs. They drove off the bridge turned round and drove back, northbound up the bridge again. Once at the north end, the attackers did a U-turn and drove back southbound, fatally and purposely driving into pedestrians as they did so.

They then crashed into railings outside the Barrowboy and Banker pub. Here, the men abandoned the van and ran off to Borough Market where they began to stab members of the public.

Counter terrorism officers have so far spoken to 262 people from 19 different countries. Of these, 78 are significant witnesses.

Commander Haydon continued: "Many witnesses we've spoken to have provided extremely helpful accounts of the attack but we are still missing pieces of the picture.

"My officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the white van targeting individuals on London Bridge, saw the suspects attacking members of the public or saw armed police engaging the suspects."

Following the attack, specialist forensic officers examined the van and recovered a large quantity of items from it, including:

= 13 wine bottles with rags wrapped around them and believed to be filled with a flammable liquid;
= two blow torches;
= a number of office chairs and a suitcase, which police understand the attackers had told family they were using the van to move, as a cover story;
= gravel bags which police believed were used to weigh the vehicle down or as a cover story to explain away why they had hired the van.

All three men were wearing hoax suicide belts consisting of plastic water bottles wrapped in grey duct tape.

To date, detectives investigating the attack have arrested 18 people, five of which remain in custody. The remaining 13 were released with no charge.

Detectives have also searched 12 properties in Barking and Ilford. From one of these addresses - a top-floor bedsit in Barking Road, E8 rented by Rachid Redouane since April 2017 - detectives found:

= an English-language copy of the Koran opened at a page describing martyrdom;
= pieces of cloth on the floor that appeared to have been cut from grey jogging bottoms;
= six half-litre water bottles;
= two five-litre water bottles smelling of petrol;
= a bottle of lighter fluid;
= rolls of black and silver duct tape;
= belts;
= correspondence, including bank and ID cards belonging to Redouane;
= a box containing paraphernalia such as phone charger cables, packets of superglue, luggage straps, pieces of rubber and plastic retractable craft knives.

It's believed that the bedsit was the attackers' safe house where the three men planned and prepared the attack.

Detectives expect to make more arrests and search further addresses in the coming days as their fast-moving investigation continues.

Security measures have been stepped up across London, with protective barriers being installed at eight bridges across London to maintain security at these venues.

Police are considering the use of barriers and other security measures at crowded and iconic locations across London and continue to review security at events over the summer.

They are also continuing to work with haulage and vehicle rental companies to develop a greater understanding of potential risks and suspicious activity they should look out for.

Commander Haydon finished by urging the public to be vigilant whether at home, at work or out socialising: "If you see something unusual or suspicious; if it just doesn't look or feel right then trust your instincts and please report it."

Timeline of the attack:

Morning of Saturday, 3 June: Butt attempts to hire a 7.5 tonne lorry online but does not provide payment details and the rental does not go ahead.

Evening of Saturday, 3 June: Butt hires a white Renault van, using a recently-activated mobile phone. The booking is for the period 17.50hrs on Saturday, 3 June to 10.00hrs Sunday, 4 June. A text is received on Butt's phone, confirming the vehicle hire at 17.47hrs.

18.30hrs (approx): The three men drive a red Corsa to Harrold Hill, Romford, to pick up the van.

19.17hrs: The men arrive at an address in Barking where Zagbha lives. They are in the property a short while before leaving in the van at 19.38hrs, heading into central London.

21.58hrs: The van travels from north to south on London Bridge. It drives onwards before turning back and re-entering the bridge, travelling northwards. Once at the north end, it does a U-turn and heads back southwards down the bridge, hitting pedestrians.

22.07hrs: The van crashes into railings on the south side of London Bridge, just slightly north of the Barrowboy and Banker pub, where it is abandoned. The three men, armed with knives, run into the Borough Market area, stabbing numerous people, including a British Transport Police officer and an off-duty Met police officer.

22.08hrs: Police receive the first call to the incident.

22.16hrs: Firearms officers confront the attackers. Eight officers discharge their weapons, discharging 46 rounds, shooting the attackers dead.