London Bridge terrorist casually chats to victim shortly before butchering her

Secretly armed with knives and wearing a fake suicide belt, terrorist Usman Khan is pictured casually chatting to one of his victims shortly before he murdered her.

Khan sat next to Saskia Jones, 23, at a prisoner rehabilitation event near London Bridge where he launched a five minute bloody rampage.

Cambridge University graduates Saskia and Jack Merritt, 25, were killed by the convicted terrorist during the attack on November 29, 2019.

The opening day of the inquest into their deaths was also shown dramatic footage of Khan being shot by police as a witness can be heard shouting he had just murdered two people, calling him a “f** scumbag.”

Khan was also shown on CCTV coming within centimetres of stabbing hero Steven Gallant who slammed a door on him only to reappear seconds later to take down the killer while armed only with a narwhal tusk.

Det Chief Insp Dan Brown took the inquest jury through the horrific events using a series of photographs and videos from the event and the aftermath of the attack.

He told jurors at the Guildhall in the City of London that the incident began at 1.56pm in the men’s toilets at Fishmongers’ Hall.

Khan had armed himself with two eight inch blades and left a bag containing a third knife in the toilets, where he also dropped a prayer book.

It was there that he attacked Jack, who had some professional dealings with Khan before the event, emerging from a cubicle to stab him repeatedly, inflicting 12 injuries including a fatal wound to the chest

Shocking CCTV showed the graduate staggering around with blood soaked through his white shirt.

Khan then made his way to the cloakroom, where he gestured to a member of staff “as if to be quiet”, Mr Brown said.

He then stabbed Saskia in the neck causing a “catastrophic haemorrhage”.

She staggered towards the bottom of a flight of stairs before collapsing.

Khan went on to stab Stephanie Szczotko and Isobel Rowbotham during the rampage, returning at one point to plunge the blade in again as his victim lay prone on the floor.

He was confronted by a number of brave attendees with an ornamental pike taken from the wall and the tusk, jurors heard.

Khan was confronted on London Bridge by Gallant, a prisoner on day release, John Crilly and Darryn Frost at around 2.01pm, some five minutes after the attack began as passers by ran for their lives.

Armed police then ordered members of the public to stand back before he was shot and tasered.

Police helicopter footage showed Khan attempting to sit up as one officer says over the radio: “He’s writhing around as you would if you’d been shot and he has a viable IED.”

The device was in fact made up of parts of an Xbox games console with bandages wrapped in clingfilm made to look like explosives.

Khan is believed to have gaffer taped it around his pot belly during his train journey to London from Stafford earlier that morning.

Mr Brown said police discharged firearms again at 2.10pm. Khan no longer showed any signs of life.

Jurors heard that one of Khan’s knives had a crudely etched Arabic symbol for Allah on it.

A fourth knife was discovered at his home in Stafford.

Earlier, Jack’s mother Anne Merritt read a collection of tributes from his friends and family, describing him as “immensely loyal”, “extremely funny” and a “very cool brother” with an “infectious smile and a never-ending passion and drive for life”.

Concluding, she broke down as she told the hearing at the Guildhall in the City of London: “Jack Merritt was a good person. Jack was a force for good in the world, someone who made other people’s lives better for knowing him.

“We are hugely proud of who Jack was and what he stood for.

“His death was a tragedy but his life was a triumph.”

Henry Pitchers QC said Saskia’s family had decided against doing a full portrait for her as it “would fly in the face” of her private nature.

He said: “It would be her hope that no other family is devastated and heartbroken again in similar circumstances.”

Mr Pitchers said: “She should be defined as someone who battled to improve the lives of others in several spheres and was driven to make real changes in the world.”

The inquest was later shown photographs of the Learning Together conference showing Saskia sitting just feet from Khan, who she had never met previously, shortly before the attack.

Khan was pictured casually sipping orange juice while wearing a puffer jacket that was one size too big for him that he had bought to hide his fake suicide belt.

His three knives were in a black rucksack at his feet.

Earlier chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC empanelled a jury and warned them that they would be hearing some “graphic” details about the attack.

He said Saskia was a former Cambridge criminology student who sometimes attended Learning Together and Jack was employed as part of the programme.

The inquest will examine how the tragedy happened, and if it could have been stopped.

A separate jury inquest will be held into the death of Khan.