LONDON, June 10 (Xinhua) — Police in London Saturday released a photograph of the knife used by killer Khuram Shazad Butt in the London Bridge terror attack.
The Metropolitan Police issued the photograph of the pink ceramic knives used by the three terrorists in a public appeal to learn where the distinctive knives had come from.
The Met also issued photographs of the hired van, and some of its deadly contents, which Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba used to plough down innocent pedestrians as they strolled over the bridge.
Eight people died and dozens were injured in their attack.
Police said the knives were found on or nearby the bodies of the trio after police shot them dead on June 3.
The kitchen knives, each measuring 30 cm in length are branded Ernesto and are ceramic, rather than metal.
The attackers had wound adhesive 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 on Saturday.
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.”
Detectives are also continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident itself and have also 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 21:28. 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. The men then 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: “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 and two blow torches.
Also inside the van were of office chairs and a suitcase which police say had been stacked inside the vehicle as a cover story to their families to explain why they had hired the van.
Police also said when they searched a bedsite flat rented by Redouane, they found an English-language copy of the Koran opened at a page describing martyrdom. They also found water bottles spelling of petrol.
Detectives believe the bedsit was the attackers’ safe house where the three men planned and prepared the London Bridge attack.
Police also revealed Butt had attempted to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry online, but failed to provide payment details. They say if the terrorists had hired such a heavy vehicle the death and injury toll could have been much higher.
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.