Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2019

London Bridge Inquests; Part Two: Boro Bistro, the running men, and the man who dropped in from above

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The official narrative of the London Bridge and Borough Market “terrorist” incident of 2017, according to information in the transcripts of the inquest into it, states that at seven minutes and seventeen seconds past ten-o-clock pm, on Saturday June 3rd, a van was driven in to railings that line pavement overlooking a below-street level precinct. Immediately on coming to a halt, three men disembarked by the passenger-side door, and set upon a passer-by: a Richard Livett, according to his own witness testimony.

Before attaining the top of a set of stone steps that descend into the basement-level Green Dragon Court, the three men attacked another bystander, Grant Merrell. Sara Zelenak and James McMullan were assaulted before the team of three went down the steps. The Australian woman was found where she was slain, and McMullan, a part-Filipino Briton, was discovered on the lower level. The official narrative can only insinuate that he arrived there by fleeing, but where he could have been fleeing to is anyone’s guess, discovered, as he was, in a dead end part of the yard. Imagine the northern portion of Green Dragon Court in the shape of a fat letter L, with the cathedral boundary wall on the right, and the street on the left: McMullan was found in the bottom left corner. (For clarity, this L-shape has north at the bottom, and south at the top).

Sébastien Bélanger was attacked in the archway under a bridge that separates the northern part of Green Dragon Court from another part in the south into which, by all accounts, the steps descend. In terms of the L-shape, this is at the top of the upright. He was given life-ending injuries. In the approximate same vicinity, Alexandre Pigeard was stabbed. He fled back towards the Boro Bistro (aligned along the base of the L-shape). When he reached the bend on the cathedral side, he was set upon again. He died on that spot. Between leaving the stone steps, and finishing off Pigeard, a third French man, Paul Saint-Pasteur, was attacked. Two women, Helen Kennett and Kirsty Boden, another Australian, were attacked as they separately approached Pigeard to try to help. Boden died later of her injuries.

Being herded from the direction of the steps, the patrons of the Boro Bistro, which takes up the bottom half (at least) of the L-shape with its al fresco seating area, generally retreated from what is referred to as the restaurant’s terrace, either into the building itself, or along an alley that opens up on the bottom right corner of the L-shape. Before returning to the stone steps to get back up on the street, however, the attackers had a go at Marie Drago and Marine Vincent amongst the seating.

Despite London being so thoroughly surveilled by CCTV, the only footage of anyone being attacked during this phase of the incident was captured on a hand held device by witness Erick Siguenza. Indeed, the lack of this kind of evidence was lamented at the inquest; Detective Constable Alistair Hutchison, of the SO15, the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police, told the inquest:

I have checked and rechecked the entire exhibit . All of the footage that was available on MPD48, which was the download of all cameras from Boro Bistro on 3 June between 8 o’clock and 11 o’clock, but not just me: colleagues have done the same and sadly, unfortunately, there are parts of the evening that simply didn’t record that would have been potentially very helpful to the investigation had it done so.

[(day)5/(column)164/(line(s))14-22]

Moreover, Hutchison produces “a clarified version of said [Siguenza’s] footage to enable the viewer to actually see what is happening, because the original footage was so dark.” [7/202/9-11]. To explain: although in his testimony, Siguenza tells of only seeing Kirsty Boden being attacked, when Siguenza’s footage is enhanced, it apparently becomes clearer to see Pigeard being finished off as well (but this will be put to the test in another article).

Of course, it is all highly suspicious, and there will be little tolerance here at FBEL for what is clearly tall tales to excuse nefarious activity. In real terms, what is being indicated here is that the Metropolitan Police failed to submit footage that would have damaged the official narrative, and tampered with other material in order to support it. Furthermore, the use of Siguenza’s material is but one of many occasions when the Queen’s Counsels (the same who conducted the travesty that was the Westminster Bridge attack inquests) who questioned witnesses (though in truth, more often than not they led them) made the evidence fit the narrative rather than allow it to lead to a truth.

At the time of the incident, the mother of an employee of the Boro Bistro, Vincent Le Berre, spoke to Le Telegramme, a French news site. Relaying her son’s own account of the attack, she said:

“The bar was full. A terrorist arrived on the roof of the bar and jumped onto the parasol on the terrace, injuring one of my colleagues. He immediately began to attack. One client was killed.

“I found myself face to face with the terrorist, just two metres away from me. I saw the hate in his eyes.

“I managed to escape him but my friend, Alexandre, didn’t have the chance to. He was stabbed in the neck with a knife.”

If this seems incredible, then maybe it is because some fine detail has been lost in translation. Otherwise, this appears to be saying that an attacker dropped in to Green Dragon Court from above. Unsurprisingly, no such evidence was considered at the inquest, and there was no effort to explore the real possibility that the van did not deliver the assailants to the scene. The authorities decided on day one that the entire incident unfolded from a crashed van, and there never has been any intention to undermine the assumption: hence why the inquest did not pursue lines of enquiry that should have been prompted when witness accounts of attackers differed significantly from official descriptions. There is only one reason for this: “special forces” antics are not to be attributed to home-spun garden-shed and gas-cooker terrorists. Do-it-yourself jihadists are not supposed to exhibit signs of being able to think militarily; they turn up, rush in, and get shot or arrested. Otherwise, the public would start to realise that there was much more to them than meets the eye.

As it happens, there are a number of ways to get into Green Dragon Court apart from a set of stone steps, and all of them were ruled out by the automatic assertion that the attackers came in the van. As well as the alleyway mentioned above, there is a route from Borough Market (a covered mall) that comes into the southern part of the area. It should also be mentioned that the wall on the cathedral boundary is short enough to drop down from, and although it is lined with some tricky looking railings, a tree that originates on the cathedral side has a trunk that grows out over the sunken precinct. Inevitably, if anyone saw an attacker coming into Green Dragon Court other than the steps, it would constitute admissible evidence because the inquest was designed to shore up the narrative, not damage it.

That being said, there is yet plenty of evidence that supports the theory that not all the attackers – if indeed any – arrived in the van. This evidence is an accidental by-product of the evident necessity to fill the inquest with as much material as possible so that it deters casual enquiry; at least, this is the impression the author got as he looked through it and became aware of the increased chances of being dazed into missing something important.

Before proceeding to examine this evidence, the reader should be apprised of how the three known attackers were officially described in terms of their clothing. Khuram Butt, a 27-year-old born in Pakistan, was wearing an Arsenal football club jersey, and three quarter-length camouflage trousers. A long-sleeved red, hooded top was also attributed to Butt, who supposedly wore it at the Boro Bistro, but removed it later. Rachid Redouane, a 30-year-old born in Morocco, was wearing a navy, red and white striped top, with light blue jeans and white trainers. Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old also born in Morocco, was wearing a black, zipped, hooded top and black trousers. For comparison, a previous FBEL article included CCTV images supposedly captured towards the termination of the entire incident, as released by the Daily Express. These showed one attacker in a football jersey, another in a long-sleeved, black hooded top and black trousers (and black shoes), and another in a striped top with long sleeves that had the general appearance of being dark because of the ratio of white to the darker colours.

Robin Colleau and Alexandre Colou were accompanying Bélanger along a pathway that runs next to the cathedral boundary wall and they were travelling to the Boro Bistro. They had literally just entered Green Dragon Court when the van crashed into the railings above on the street. Colleau reports that “about 10 seconds” [6/20/22] elapsed before there was panic in the crowds. This corresponds with timings on CCTV footage which shows people running into the courtyard at 22.07.27 (or twenty seven seconds and seven minutes past ten pm). Colleau and Colou decided to run into the Boro Bistro terrace and beyond into the alley behind the restaurant. Take note that Colou reports that there was screaming from all around, and people were running in different directions [9/44], perhaps indicating that there wasn’t one point of origin for the panic.

Colleau and Colou lost Bélanger, who went in the opposite direction. It appears that he climbed all the way up the stone steps, according to the testimony of Dervish Gashi, who works at the Café Brood situated on the south side of the stone archway. Gashi heard the crash, went to investigate and climbed four or five steps (halfway) up the stairs, before they filled with people coming down. Gashi retreated and started to move chairs outside the Café Brood to make room. After the first rush of people – some came past him, other went towards Boro Bistro – Gashi went back to the stairs to see Bélanger halfway up them “fighting” or at least staving off blows [6/86]. Belanger was forced down the steps to the archway, where he succumbed at last, and the three men (one in a red jacket, another in a black puffer jacket, and a third who Gashi could not register properly) moved into the northern portion of the courtyard.

Now, Gashi’s testimony is important that it shows one of two things. Purely because the wave of people coming down would have prevented anyone going up, either Bélanger must have been a) at the top of the stairs when the panic started, or b) in a position to climb the stairs as soon as the first rush subsided. The second option is more likely given the timings, but either way, he was a narrative bottleneck that prevented three attackers moving swiftly down the steps.†

Therefore it is extraordinary that Colleau and Colou saw evidence of a knife attacker as they ran in the opposite direction to where Bélanger was proving to be an obstacle. The situation was not lost on Colleau, who made an insightful observation in his read testimony:

Soon the people around me began running. I think I saw people with blood on them, but I can’t remember anyone in particular. There were people on the terrace in front of me with blood on them, but I did not think people could have got from the roadway to the terrace so fast and didn’t see anybody with a knife pass me.

At this stage I was already thinking that it could be a terrorist attack. It was as if the crash was a signal, as if there was already somebody in the terrace who began attacking people immediately after the crash.

[6/20/23-24 & 6/21/1-9]

Colleau did not see an attacker wielding a blade, but he did come across Pigeard, an individual who he knew. Pigeard, with “blood all around him”, was “holding his neck and it was covered in blood.” [6/21/16-19].

On the other hand, Colou says he saw a solitary man with a knife “in the middle of the courtyard, Boro Bistro.” [9/45/14] His sole recollection about appearance, which had to be retrieved from Colou’s statement to police, was that the man may have been wearing a “pullover”. [9/46/7].

It appears that Colleau and Colou got separated until they rejoined each other in the alley behind the bistro. This could have been because the former stopped momentarily to look at Pigeard (and explain that he couldn’t hang around to help), but the fact that there were a lot of people in the area has to be a factor. A witness, whose testimony will be the subject of examination momentarily, told of 75-100 people in the vicinity of Boro Bistro at the start of the incident. This might also explain why Colleau and Colou had different experiences when fleeing along what was generally the same route: the presence of other people would serve to block views depending on the point of view.

Ultimately, this evidence points to an attacker being present in the courtyard, and assaulting people, very quickly at the start of the incident, and before the three men who have been blamed for the murders that occurred there could have even been able to gain access to the area. Moreover, there is further evidence to support this deduction, which will feature in a future article. For the time being, other evidence will be examined in the remainder of this article so that it can conclude with the reader gaining an impression of there was perhaps more than one team of attackers who gained access to Green Dragon Court very quickly and while the three official culprits were yet anywhere near. While the attacker that Colou saw can be dubbed “the man who dropped in from above”, there are others who can be called “the running men”

Dusan Trivic positioned himself on a platform overlooking the Boro Bistro terrace; in terms of the L-shaped plan, he was in the bottom left hand corner (on the street side). He was on scene when the van crashed, and he reported that he saw two people, who he thought had come from the van. The word “thought” is used, because although Trivic was under the impression he saw someone disembarking from the passenger side (therefore, on the other side of the van in relation to his position) his surprise at arriving at the van to find it empty provoked some serious doubt:

I thought how could this happen and it made me doubt whether I had in fact seen the van being driven towards me. I thought the driver must be an athlete, he was so fast. Looking back, I do remember seeing a glimpse of a guy’s face, just the side profile.

[7/115/14-19]

Trivic’s glimpse of the “driver” could very well be retrospective rationalisation – but the issue of who was in the van is material for another article. The immediate point to make with Trivic’s evidence is that it appears to tell of two people hurriedly descending the steps to appear in Green Dragon Court in a very short space of time after the van crashed. Moreover, he didn’t see any knives, or indeed anyone being attacked. These two people that Trivic saw did not encounter Bélanger, and must have attained the lower level amongst the first wave of runners that Dervish Gashi describes, if not before. Trivic’s data is so crammed with important information that it is reproduced at length below. Bear in mind that although he moved from the van back to the platform, this should not have meant he didn’t have an opportunity to see anyone moving from the vehicle to the stone steps. Trivic just didn’t see anyone making that journey. By the time he reached his new position, he reports that:

My attention was drawn to two males running down some steps. The steps are located to the far left corner of the square near the High Street. I just saw his head go down and one male wearing a black top. I couldn’t see any more than that because the wall in front of the steps was obscuring my view. I shouted ’stop him, get him, catch him ’. The male wearing the black top had now reached the bottom of the square, which is underneath where I stood. I could see he was quite tall, about 6-foot 2 tall, short black hair and Asian appearance. I could see him running through people, pushing and barging them out of the way. He was violently, aggressively pushing people, which is the kind of behaviour I would expect from someone trying to get away.

I saw one guy fall to the ground, right on the corner of the square, but I did not see him getting stabbed. I also saw an oriental guy in a white top running parallel with the Asian male. At first I thought these guys were working together. It just seemed so strange that he was also running in the same direction. This male was located at the opposite end of the square, closer to the Borough High Street side…

I remained on the platform and was approximately 30 metres away from him. I would describe the lighting as average, but sufficient enough to allow me to see the suspect. There were about 75 to 100 people in the square, standing around and drinking. I think there is a little bistro place underneath. I then saw the male disappear along an alley towards the back of the pub.

[7/116/3-25 & 7/117/1-8]

The first thing to say about this is that it obviously took place at the start of the incident because the crowd was still stationary, hence the runner having to bump his way through it. Evidently, the steps were tackled quite easily too. While it is not clear which male exited the courtyard by the alleyway, an analyst of this evidence might suppose that the “Asian man” and the “oriental guy” were not adversaries. This has to be stated, because the inquest insinuated (and a little bit more than that, in fact), that the latter of the two men was James McMullan being chased ultimately to his death. There is, however, other and more compelling evidence that indicates that this could not be the case at all – which is material for yet another article. It will suffice to say at this juncture that McMullan could well be related to these running men, although that is not necessarily to be gleaned from Trivic’s account, which is actually sketchy in terms of who is being referred to being at what location in the yard.

Another witness, however, lends a little assistance. Mauro Galluzzo was seated in the Boro Bistro terrace at a table both close to the restaurant and to the street-side wall. He was in the corner below where the van crashed. He saw the end of a chase being carried out by two men who Galluzo felt “were targeting just this person.” [8/84/15-16]. The QC’s questioning Galluzo would have the inquest understand that the person being chased was Pigeard, and Galluzo’s provides a good case to illustrate one of the tricks employed by which the inquest made evidence fit narrative: when Galluzo said “he would have been running alongside that pavement”, the QC responded by getting Galluzo to agree to the more desirable answer by asking “So he was running along the pavement, alongside the wall, coming into the courtyard away from the stone archway?” [8/82/10-13]. When Galluzo replies in the affirmative to the general gist of the scenario described in the question, he is okaying a correction to his witness. Running alongside a pavement is not the same as running on it, as learned and expensive “gentlemen” should know.

The upshot is this: where the inquest says Galluzo saw this incident is not to be trusted; fortunately there is other, and much more compelling evidence that indicates that the person being victimised was not Pigeard – again, to be dealt with elsewhere. Moreover, to have a realistic idea about where Galluzo saw what he described, the reader should bear in mind that he didn’t move, except to stand up, from his rather remote position. (If this person was Pigeard, Galluzo would have had to have seen him through a good deal of people who were also standing up to try to see what was happening; indeed Gallazu protested that “it was quite chaotic, there was quite a lot of people there as well” [8/94/1-2]).

This is what Galluzo testified:

I remember him running towards the corner and then falling to the ground, and by that stage, two men appeared running after him…

It might have been a second, two seconds after he arrived that the other two guys arrived behind him.

They, as far as I remember, they crowd over him and were moving his arms as if he was holding a knife, I didn’t see a knife, but I remember their arms were moving as if they were stabbing him.

[8/82/23-25, 8/83/18-25 & 8/841-3]

Galluzo would not commit to a description of the two men, perhaps being conscious of the fact that the account he gave in a statement to police did not conform to the official narrative. Nevertheless, his statement was referred to, and it appears that Galluzo saw that one pursuer was wearing a “bright or light-coloured top” [8/85/2], and the othet was wearing “a lighter coloured top” [8/85/10]. Clearly, these were not the men who have been blamed for the attack at Boro Bistro.

Neither was the third man that Galluzo saw:

[While looking at the running men standing over their prey, after] a number of split seconds, a man appeared not in front of me but in the middle of the courtyard, and I – – I ’ m not sure where he came from or how he arrived, but he – – I could see that he was holding a knife…

I remember he was tall, he was slightly older, possibly 30, late 30s, 40s. I remember he had a grey — I think it was a grey T- shirt on, and I think he was clean-shaven.

[8/86/1-5 & 8/86/11-14]

Enter “the man who dropped in from above”? – about which no more can be divulged by Galluzo, who made a hasty exit at last (indicating that he perhaps rationalised knives in the hands of the running men). Note well, however, that “in the middle of the courtyard” is exactly where Colou placed a knifeman.

If the reader is expecting an explanation for the meaning of what the several witnesses here examined saw, then the fact that he is reading the last paragraph of this piece might well disappoint. The objective here has been to demonstrate that witnesses saw what might be called two teams, not counting the one that came into Green Dragon Court last of all, and upon whom all the blame has seemingly been heaped. Explanations will be for other articles, if indeed such things emerge with the evidence: unlike those who drove the inquest into this incident, data will not be twisted to fit an hypothesis. In fact, there can only be estimations of best case scenarios, rather than definitive explanations, precisely because, in an effort to confuse, such a mess has been made of the evidence at the inquest. Be that as it may, the official narrative regarding the Boro Bistro part of the incident will be in complete tatters, and that is all that needs to be done.

 

† Moreover, dash cam footage from a passing black cab captures the official narrative attackers on their way to the steps from the van at 22.07.32 – at least, as far as the images have been interpreted by the authorities. This moment is later than that in which members of the public are seen in other CCTV running into Green Dragon Court, and 15 seconds after the collision.

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