London attack: The men had planned to hire a lorry, say police

Fears that the London Bridge trio planned an even more deadly strike were also heightened by the discovery of items in the white Renault van they used.

The London Bridge terror attackers tried to hire a 7.5-ton lorry on the morning of the atrocity but were foiled when their payment did not go through, it can be revealed.

All three of the attackers were armed with pink ceramic knives, believed to have been bought from a Lidl store.

"We won't let them win and London will carry on", she said.

The discoveries, especially of the plan to hire a truck, suggested more could have been killed. "The effects could have been even worse".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick poses for a portrait at New Scotland Yard, Westminster June 10, 2017.

Commenting on the impression he is getting from customers, he said: "It hasn't been forgotten, but I don't think it's going to push them into a corner where they're not going to go out".

Despite the demands on police after the attacks in Westminster, Manchester and at London Bridge, Ms Dick said morale among officers was high. When he did not provide payment details, the rental did not go ahead. It was not clear why he could not pay, or if he lacked the necessary licence to drive such a vehicle.

The truck they had wanted to hire was smaller but similar to the one used in last year's Nice attack in which more than 80 people were killed in France. "The kitchen knives, each measuring 12 inches, are branded Ernesto and are ceramic, rather than metal".

They also discovered equipment for making petrol bombs, plastic bottles and duct tape for constructing fake suicide bomb belts, and an ID card for Redouane.

Police were called within two minutes and arrived eight minutes later, killing the attackers in what officers said was an "unprecedented" volley of 46 bullets.

Also in the van were 13 Molotov cocktails and two blow torches to ignite them - which could also fit the siege theory.

Police also found a number of office chairs, bags of builders' gravel and a suitcase in the van. "They were still fairly close to the van".

They believe there will be many others who saw the incidents but have yet to contact police, and are asking them to come forward.

They were 30-year-old Canadian national Chrissy Archibald, Australian Kirsty Boden, 28, Australian Sara Zelenak, 21, James McMullan, 32, from Hackney, London, Frenchmen Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Xavier Thomas, 45, and chef Sebastien Belanger, 36, and Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria, 39. There they found an English-language copy of the Holy Quran which had been left open on a page describing martyrdom, along with other items linked to their attack.

"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", he said. He had also been repeatedly reported to police for violent behaviour and trying to recruit young children to the Islamic State group as well as featuring in the documentary, The Jihadis Next Door, where he was seen next to a group of men unfurling a black-and-white flag scrawled with Arabic script and associated with the Islamic State group.

"He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000", police said in a statement. They said they had not found evidence of anyone else being involved in the plot - or inspiring the attackers to carry it out.

"We will be going out as, we have always done, to get young people engaged in activities that positively contribute to society in Redbridge", he said.

  • Jon Douglas