London Bridge attackers ‘pumped up on steroids’
THE London Bridge terrorists had been abusing steroids in a chilling similarity to a terror attack which took place just months earlier, an inquest has heard.
Jihadists Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, unleashed unimaginable horror on June 3, 2017 when they mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge.
After crashing a rental van at 10.07pm above the Borough Market court-yard, the trio then went on a frenzied stabbing rampage with kitchen knives tied to their wrists.
They were also wearing fake explosive vests.
Toxicology professor David Cowan gave evidence on Tuesday as to the effect the steroids had on the men during the fourth week of an inquest into the attacks at the Old Bailey.
Prof Cowan said post-mortem urine samples taken from the men indicated they had likely used steroids "from seven hours to a day" before the attack, but said: "I think it's quite unlikely that steroid use had any behavioural effect on any of the individuals".
One of the attackers was also found to have testosterone in his system but Prof Cowan again said this was unlikely to have had any behavioural effect.
By the time the terrorists had been fatally shot on Stoney St by police less than 10 minutes after the attack began, their body count totalled eight and a further 48 people had been injured.
Brisbane au pair Sara Zelenak, 21 and South Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 28, were among the dead and Brisbane waitress Candice Hedge, 36, was almost fatally stabbed.
Three months earlier Khalid Masood, 52, murdered five people and injured more than 50 in an eerily similar attack.
Like the London Bridge attackers, Masood used a hire car and mowed down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge.
He too had taken steroids before his murderous rampage.
Forensic scientist Dr Louissa Marsh told the court fibres from the clothing of French-national Xavier Thomas, 45, were found melted to the plastic bumper of the van used in the London Bridge attack.
The father-of-two was hit by the vehicle and fell 13 metres into the Thames, but his body wasn't found until three days later.
Dr Marsh analysed the van's airbag which deployed when the attackers crashed and found 72 particles of Zaghba's clothing on it, compared to 20 of Redouane's clothing and eight of Butt's.
She said she "wouldn't be comfortable" drawing the conclusion that Zaghba was the driver, but said he was closest to the airbag when the car crashed.
Chief Coroner Judge Mark Lucraft, QC, is examining the victims' deaths, intelligence failures, the response of emergency services and other security mistakes.
The inquest continues.