A London Jihadi’s knife revealed

As David and I were wrapping up our Saturday at BLADE Show last weekend, the jihadi van and knife attack was unfolding in London. Now, the Metropolitan Police have released photos of the knife used by one of the attackers – a pink ceramic chefs knife. Authorities are now looking for the source of the unusual knives.

From Daily Mail:

Bound with black tape, the 12-inch weapons which helped kill and maim revellers last Saturday were ceramic, possibly so the murderers could avoid metal detectors, police believe.

Each of the men carried an identical blade as they inflicted the outrage on Borough Market.

Material tethered to one hilt is shown saturated with blood and was apparently designed so killer Khuram Butt could strap it to his wrist, commander Dean Haydon said…

…“We’ve been working round the clock to understand what these men did in the lead-up to the attack but we need to know more about these unusual knives.

“Where have they come from? Where might the attackers have bought them from? If you know anything about these particular types of knives, please let us know – it could prove a crucial lead in our investigation.”

He said: “There were three identical knives – each attacker had one of those in their hand, wrapped with some kind of leather binding. The leather binding actually went around the attackers’ wrist so in essence it was almost strapped to their wrist.

Apparently the attackers didn’t follow the instructions from the ISIS infographic, which advised against using kitchen knives in attacks due to their relative fragility. And that is referring to steel knives, not ceramic which is more fragile still.

The reason that they use pigs for testing on Forged in Fire is that they are a reasonable analog for human tissue. We have all seen the damage that can be caused to blades from contact with bone. You can clearly see the chipping in the photo of one of the blades. Whether it was from bone contact or incidental damage, it is clear that the durability of the relatively common and low-end knives exceeded.

That said, seven people still died, and scores were injured, though I have not seen a breakdown of car vs. knife. I doubt if the deceased care much about which weaponized tool killed them.


  1. Chase M. says:

    That is an interesting choice. Looks like a choice driven by necessity.

    There is a ceramics company ad exec seeing this article that just put his/her resume on monster.

    I’m really afraid of what the next anti-ceramic knife legislation is going to look like.

  2. Jay says:

    Why pink though?

    Apologies for being a little insensitive.

  3. Michael says:

    So guess the sheepish spineless brits wil next require that a background check, permit, and training be required, alomg with registration be nneded before you by a kitchen knife. What is next spoons, screwdrivers, anything that can be used as a weapon against the disarmed subjects of the Crown. Alwhile, you become more of a policestate under Martial law.

  4. Overload in CO says:

    Jay, the color is done so users can quickly tell which knife they’re grabbing out of a knife block, drawer or wherever. This is especially true in a commercial settings where the user may not have control of the blades when they’re not there and may be placed in a different order.
    I have two Spyderco kitchen knives, and know the one with the blue handle is the serrated one

  5. Sam L. says:

    This looks a LOT like my Kai Pur Komachi chef knife (the back of the handle is different). I’m guessing the pictured knife IS metal, as I’d expect a ceramic blade to shatter, not chip like that. (I could well be wrong, though the only ceramic knife I have has what I’d call a Scandi edge, and the pictured knife looks to have a flat grind.)

  6. Malcolm Young says:

    This knife is an own brand (Ernesto) from a Lidl supermarket store which is a German company with stores all over the UK. Quite good ceramic knives although the handles are a bit cheesy but they are inexpensive. I have a couple (white and black blade) which I use for food prep (mainly vegetables and cheese) and they’re actually quite robust.

  7. Bob G. says:

    Pretty darn’ sure it is ceramic. In the top photo, I zoomed in and could see that even the raw broken area was uniformly fuschia: a pretty good indication we’re not looking at steel.

    This reinforces what just about all of us here already know: anything can be weaponized — and probably will be, if people are desperate to cause harm — no matter how innocuous the thing may be. I’ve made shanks from scrap metal, awls from coat hangers and round stock, arrowheads from spoons and keys. Look up “millwall brick”. With a newspaper and some coins, a person can fashion a lethal weapon in a minute or so. I’ve seen prisoner-made weapons such as spears made from rolled-and-glued paper and shanks made from plastic utensils (melted and formed) and even toothbrushes.

    I have no problem with passing laws against violent actions, but trying to legislate against the tools is a waste of time that makes life more difficult for the rest of us. I really feel sympathy for our friends in Britain and the rest of Europe. They were sold a promise of safety and security in exchange for some of their rights, and now the promises are not being kept.

    Dirty Bob

  8. Legislation does nothing to keep the weapons out of the hands of criminals( Remember-they’re Criminals) Personal training, Border security, extreme vigilance, at least. Will help- disarming the populous only helps the criminals!

  9. Andrew Lee Widener says:

    Their choice reflects desperation. Their networks of funding and material supply have been disrupted by various intelligence agencies. I suspect we’ll see more desperation attacks like this in the future. This is proof that countries working in unison can disrupt these cowards access to deadlier means of terrorizing innocents. Personally….one more attack with a ceramic blade or a truck full of AMFO would justify turning a large portion of sand anywhere near those rats into a large piece of glass.

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A London Jihadi’s knife revealed

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