Photos released of fake explosives worn by London Bridge attackers

Detectives investigating the London Bridge attack have released images of the terrorists' fake suicide belts.

Each attacker brandished one of the weapons with leather binding strapped around their wrists.

The police and intelligence agencies have tried to prevent complex, high-tech plots - such as those created to bring down commercial flights - but now they are dealing with a rash of less complicated attacks on soft targets, she said.

Police also found the attackers had hired a flat at Barking, south London, as the safe house for them to prepare the attack, in which petrol bombs have been found.

Police are questioning six men over suspected links to the attackers, Pakistani-born British citizen Butt, Moroccan Redouane, and Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

"We're not looking for a wider network", said Haydon, head of London's Counter Terrorism Command, adding that officers were still trying to piece together how the three men had met. "They are a diverse bunch", he said.

The three men drove up and down the London Bridge twice before ultimately carrying out the attack, police said.

On Saturday morning, Butt, who Haydon said was believed to be the ringleader, tried to rent a 7.5 tonne truck but did not provided payment details. It was unclear why he could not pay, or if he lacked the necessary licence to drive such a vehicle. In total, the attackers killed eight people and injured many more. Instead they hired a Renault van from a firm in Harold Hill, Romford, in east London, reports the Guardian.

After Butt's payment was declined, the trio of terrorists rented the smaller van that they used to plow into crowds before jumping out of the vehicle and going on a stabbing rampage that left eight people dead and nearly 50 injured.

The belts, which had three water bottles with duct tape stuck to them, were worn by the three men who launched an attack in the centre of London last Saturday night.

Police have released images of three pink ceramic kitchen knives found on or near the assailants. There were also two blow torches which Haydon thought could have been used to light the homemade bombs as part of a possible secondary attack. They were shot before they could reach their van again. "There is a possibility that they could have come back", Haydon said. They had added bags of building gravel and several chairs possibly to suggest a reason for having hired the van.

Cole, 41, said the attack was "the most challenging, most intense situation I've dealt with" in an 18-year police career.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Government guidance issued days after the attack warns hospitals and doctors surgeries that they too could be targeted by terrorists.

He said: "It could be that they had plans to take the attack into a siege situation or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves", the officer said.

Officers at Scotland Yard said they are working to identify the third accomplice, while 12 people who were arrested in east London in the wake of the murderous rampage have been released without charge. He was jailed past year for encouraging support of IS, which has been linked to numerous militant plots in Britain and overseas.

"We are highly effective at preventing attacks in this country and we will step up a gear and do our level best to stop any further attacks", Dick said, urging those hiring out vehicles to be vigilant.

"When we got there, there were a number of armed officers and there were casualties on the pavements".

  • Leroy Wright