London Bridge inquests: Attacker 'bought pink knives from Lidl'

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Rachid Redouane bought the ceramic knives from Lidl

The London Bridge terror attackers used 12in pink kitchen knives which had been bought from a Lidl supermarket weeks earlier, an inquest has heard.

Rachid Redouane, one of the three attackers, was seen on CCTV being helped by a staff member as he bought the knives at a self-checkout till.

The inquest also heard how London Bridge may have only been chosen as the target on the night.

Eight people died in the attack on 3 June 2017.

Redouane, 30, along with Khuram Butt, 27, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before launching a knife attack in nearby Borough Market, injuring 48 others.

Police shot and killed the three men less than 10 minutes after the violence began.

The inquest into the victims' deaths is being held at London's Old Bailey.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Redouane used a self-service checkout machine when buying the knives

On Wednesday, the court was shown CCTV footage of the attackers' movements in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.

The court heard how Redouane 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.

Redouane returned to the same store just over a fortnight later on 30 May and bought wine bottles, the footage showed.

Image source, Metropolitan Police
Image caption,
One of the knives used by the London Bridge attackers

The court heard that these bottles were prepared as Molotov cocktails - all filled with a flammable liquid and fitted with a wick - and were found in the attackers' van on the night of the attack.

On the day of the attack, the inquest heard how Butt hired a van online from Hertz. He had tried to book a 7.5-tonne lorry but was unable to collect it as the branch had closed.

After Butt and Redouane spent time with family members, the three attackers met up and loaded up the van with 29 bags of gravel from B&Q to add weight, before buying diesel and snacks.

They then headed to Butt's home address in Barking before setting off.

Image source, Metropolitan Police
Image caption,
Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba carried out the London Bridge attacks

The court was told how a mobile phone recovered from the attackers' van held directions to Oxford Street in central London, suggesting London Bridge may have been identified as a target only on the night of the attack.

The van was driven over the bridge twice before being turned around a final time to be driven south across the bridge and into pedestrians.

Giving evidence, Acting Det Ch Insp Wayne Jolley said all three attackers were in contact by at least January 14 2017.

They worked out together at Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford, east London, and went on swimming trips to nearby Stratford.

The inquest has already heard some evidence relating to the deaths of the eight victims: Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

Image source, Press Association
Image caption,
The victims of the attack clockwise from top left - Chrissy Archibald, James McMullan, Alexandre Pigeard, Sebastien Belanger, Ignacio Echeverria, Xavier Thomas, Sara Zelenak, Kirsty Boden

Earlier this week, the inquest at the Old Bailey heard that a relative of Butt had reported him to an anti-terror hotline two years before the attack.

The court heard how Butt had been an "earnest and hard-working" schoolboy. In his early 20s he was a "normal guy" who liked football and music and smoked cannabis, friends and colleagues said.

However, in around 2013, he began showing signs of extremism and two years later his family became concerned that he wanted to travel to Syria.