Terrorist attacks are horrible, disgusting acts of violence which has claimed the lives of so many innocent people. For the UK, one terrorist attack in particular that shook the country is the London Bridge terror attack where almost ten people sadly lost their lives. Now, an inquest held at London’s Old Bailey, has heard that the attackers used 12 inch pink kitchen knives which had been bought from a Lidl supermarket just a few weeks earlier.
Only a few weeks before the tragic attack took place, Rachid Redouane, one of the three attackers, was captured on CCTV being helped by a staff member ensuring that he was over 18 as he purchased the blades at a self-checkout till. Another fact that was produced at the inquest was that the London Bridge was possibly not the only target chosen for that night, which ended up with eight people killed on June 3rd, back in 2017. There was also rumours of Oxford Circus being a possible target had police not shown up as quickly as they did.
The attack on the bridge was terrifying and completely unexpected by everyone. Redouane, 30, along with Khuram Butt, 27, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, drove a van through the crowded streets and mowed down pedestrians before launching a knife attack in nearby Borough Market, where they managed to injure 48 other people. Police response was hasty and they managed to shoot and kill all three suspects less than ten minutes after the attack begun.
The court was shown CCTV footage on Wednesday of the attackers’ movements in the days and weeks leading up to the violent attack. One of the most concerning points was how easy it was for the attackers to get hold of the knives. The court heard how Redouane had simply walked in and bought the ceramic knives from the Lidl in East Ham on 15 May, just one day after attending a barbecue hosted by Butt to celebrate his daughter’s birth. All he needed was proof of age and was able to walk out with deadly weapons. Over a fortnight later, on May 30th, he returned to the same store and purchased wine bottles. These were later found in the attackers’ van after the attack, all filled with a flammable liquid and fitted with a wick – they had prepared them as Molotov cocktails.
Another disturbing detail that the court heard was the hiring of the van. On the day of the attack, Butt was able to order a van online from Hertz. Things could have been a lot different as he had attempted to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry. However he was unable to collect it as the branch had closed, thankfully. The damage could have been far worse had they got hold of that HGV.
This case just keeps getting worse as the inquest goes on. Earlier this week, it was revealed that a relative of Butt had reported him to an anti-terror hotline two years prior to the attack. He has been an earnest and hard-working schoolboy and was just a normal guy in his 20s. However, as time passed, he became increasingly violent and continued to show signs of extremism in 2013. It was then that his family started to get concerned about his willingness to travel to Syria and so he was reported to the hotline. Apparently, nothing was done about this tip though. Perhaps things would have been different had someone listened and acted.