Dean Haydon, the police commander leading the London attack investigation, said: “I have not seen this tactic in the United Kingdom before, where terrorists create maximum fear by strapping fake explosives to themselves”.
The Post has contacted residents who used the centre and they said that Butt did not attempt to share his beliefs in front of them. The belts, all attached to the men at the moment when they were shot dead, looked genuine, police said.
The three attackers, Rachid Redouane, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba, were shot and killed by police in a flurry of 50 bullets within eight minutes of the first call to emergency services.
“So I literally just grabbed hold of as many as we could and directed them into the basement of the bar”.
The belts had disposable water bottles covered in duct tape attached to them.
In an account of the June 3 attack released by the Metropolitan Police, Cole said he arrived at Borough Market to find “casualties on the pavements”.
Dean Haydon, the Metropolitan police commander, who is leading the counter-terrorism investigation, said the fake suicide belts made the courage of police and members of the public who confronted the terrorists even more remarkable.
Police arrested 20 people after the attack and seven remained in custody on Sunday.
Police said late Sunday night that a 19-year-old man had been arrested in the east London neighborhood of Barking.
Following the attack, specialist forensic officers examined the van and recovered a large quantity of items from it including: 13 wine bottles with rags wrapped around them and believed to be filled with a flammable liquid and two blow torches.
Then, eight weeks later, three Islamists staged a carbon-copy attack on London Bridge.
Twelve other people who were detained in the wake of the van and knife attack in London were released without charge.
Cole said that when he told the 200 people sheltering in the pub’s basement that they were safe and would soon be evacuated, “I got a big round of applause”.
According to the most detailed investigation report revealed by Scotland Yard so far, the payment by the gang’s leader, Khuram Butt, failed to go through and the three men had to hire a smaller van instead.