An Islamic State agent tried to persuade an undercover reporter to carry out an attack on London Bridge, a year before eight were killed and dozens injured at the landmark, it has been claimed.

A special report by BBC Inside Out London said one of its journalists was encouraged by the suspect to target London Bridge, suggesting he could do it alone or in a group.

The same agent also revealed explicit terrorist tutorials on the dark web, including step by step instructions on how to make a bomb and create a fake suicide vest. They also contained illustrations showing how to attack a victim with a knife.

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The BBC said the details bore striking similarities to the attack on London Bridge on June 3, in which all three attackers Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, were shot and killed by police at the scene.

Inside Out London’s undercover reporter said: "The authorities were fully aware of our contact with the terrorist organisation.”