The three Islamists who killed eight people after driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then attacking nearby revelers had initially tried to hire a 7.5 tonne (8.3 ton) truck, the head of the United Kingdom capital's counter-terrorism unit said on Friday. It was the third such deadly attack in Britain in three months.
Police also disclosed that multiple petrol bombs were discovered in the van, and a copy of the Qur'an opened at a page "describing martyrdom" was found at one of the attackers' houses.
The discoveries, especially of the plan to hire a truck, suggested more could have been killed.
"Because of the fact his payment method failed he couldn't get hold of that lorry", Counter-Terrorism Command chief Dean Haydon told reporters.
Although Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, Haydon said there was no evidence the attackers - Pakistani-born Briton Khuram Butt, Italian Youssef Zaghba and Rachid Redouane who had links to Libya, Morocco and Ireland - were directed by anyone else, either in Britain or overseas. "They are a diverse bunch", he said.
Each terrorist carried a 12-inch, pink kitchen knife with a razor-sharp blade and used them to kill five people in the market.
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 not clear why he could not pay, or if he lacked the necessary license to drive such a vehicle.
Trucks have been used in a string of terror attacks in Europe over the past year. Police believe Butt was driving the van.
The van was used to mow down the first victims, killing three of them, as it mounted the pavement on the busy bridge last Saturday night.
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Butt, 27, had wrapped the handle of his weapon with duct tape and tied it to his wrist with a leather strap.
Along with Rachid Redouane, 30, the men were shot dead by armed police after spending eight minutes laying waste to the nightlife of south London.
After his payment was declined, Butt and his two accomplices rented a smaller van that they used to plow into crowds before they leapt from the vehicle and went on a stabbing rampage in an attack that left eight people dead including one Canadian and almost 50 people injured.
In the attackers' van detectives found 13 wine bottles, filled with lighter fuel with rags wrapped round them to make Molotov cocktail petrol bombs.
"They were still fairly close to the van".
There were also office chairs, a suitcase and two bags of gravel which Haydon said might have been to add weight or to act as a cover story for their activities to friends and family. "Where might the attackers have bought them from?" police said.
Police say they have interviewed 262 witnesses, from 19 countries. He was jailed a year ago for encouraging support of IS, which has been linked to numerous militant plots in Britain and overseas.
Butt, who police consider the attack ringleader, had been on bail after being arrested for fraud in a case in October of a year ago, police said.
"We will be looking at intelligence and our processes, and asking ourselves the question: 'Could we have prevented such an attack?'", Haydon said. "We don't know - I can only surmise".
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