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London Bridge terrorists planned to attack Oxford Street


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Three terrorists who murdered eight people had planned to mow people down on Oxford Street and set off Molotov cocktails, an inquest heard today.

Eight people were killed when Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, drove a van into pedestrians and stabbed others in the London Bridge area on June 3, 2017.  

The trio had originally intended to target shoppers on the country’s busiest shopping street using a hired 7.5-tonne lorry but changed their plan at the eleventh hour. 

They also had a lethal arsenal of weapons in their van, blow torches and fake suicide vests, and planned to set off a firestorm of Molotov cocktails during their sickening rampage.   

From left: Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba killed eight people as they drove a van into pedestrians on June 3, 2017

The trio hired this van to mow down innocent people as they enjoyed an evening out in the London Bridge area

The trio hired this van to mow down innocent people as they enjoyed an evening out in the London Bridge area

This map shows the route the terrorists took as they murdered eight people in central London

This map shows the route the terrorists took as they murdered eight people in central London

The three men mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge in a hire van before rampaging through Borough Market. 

Thirteen bottles of rosé were found in the footwell of the killers’ rental van, each filled with highly flammable fuel. 

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley told the Old Bailey today about the men’s preparations in the days leading up to the attack.

He said all three attackers were working together by at least January 14, 2017.

Thirteen bottles of rosé (including this one), were found in the footwell of the killers' rental van, each filled with highly flammable fuel

Thirteen bottles of rosé (including this one), were found in the footwell of the killers’ rental van, each filled with highly flammable fuel

They regularly trained at the Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford, east London, and went on Sunday swimming trips to nearby Stratford.

On May 14, Redouane was pictured at Butt’s barbecue celebrating the birth of his daughter.

Pink 12in Ernesto ceramic knives were bought by Redouane at Lidl in East Ham at 10.15pm the next day.

On May 29, the attackers were seen on CCTV footage meeting at the fitness centre.

The following day, Redouane went back to the same Lidl to buy wine bottles for the makeshift bombs.

The mock suicide vests worn by the attackers were made from four bottles covered in silver tape attached to a brown belt.

DNA analysis suggested Redouane made the fake suicide belts, with help from Zaghba, the court heard.

On the day of the attack, Butt made an online booking to hire a van from Hertz.

He had tried to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry but the branch he asked to collect it from had closed at 11am that day, the court heard.

They had a lethal arsenal of weapons in their van, blow torches and fake suicide vests, and planned to set off a firestorm of Molotov cocktails during their sickening rampage

They had a lethal arsenal of weapons in their van, blow torches and fake suicide vests, and planned to set off a firestorm of Molotov cocktails during their sickening rampage

Shortly before midday, Butt had gone walking with his family in a park and later met up with Redouane, who was with his child. At around 4.30pm all the attackers were outside Butt’s block.

Redouane’s red Corsa was later seen arriving at the B&Q in Harold Hill, Romford, to collect the van.

The attackers also bought 29 bags of gravel, which were put in the back of the vehicle to add weight.

The men left B&Q in convoy, with Zaghba driving the van accompanied by Butt and Redouane in the Corsa.

Redouane dropped off his child before joining the others at Zaghba’s home in Fairfield Road in Ilford.

The attackers stopped off in the van at a Shell garage at 7.54pm, where they bought diesel, drinks and snack bars before heading to Butt’s Barking address.

While there, they loaded up black plastic chairs before setting off at 8.55pm towards central London.

The court was shown a Samsung on private mode with directions to the UK’s most popular shopping destination, suggesting London Bridge was only identified en route.

The attackers mounted the kerb and launched their attack on the bridge just before 10.07pm.

Within 10 minutes, they had killed eight people and injured many more before they were shot dead by police marksmen.  

Christine Archibald, 30, Xavier Thomas, 45, Sébastien Belanger, 36, Kirsty Boden, 28, James McMullan, 32, Sara Zelenak, 21, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverría, 39, were all killed in the attack. 

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