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Sudesh Amman: Streatham knife attacker was released from prison sentence for terror offences days ago

College student pledged allegiance to Isis and said his goal was to become a martyr

Peter Stubley,Lizzie Dearden
Sunday 02 February 2020 22:11 GMT
Streatham attacker body removed from the crime scene

The knife attacker who stabbed two people in south London before being shot dead by police has been named as a convicted terror offender who was released from prison days ago.

Isis supporter Sudesh Amman was just 18 when he was jailed in December 2018 after police found a stash of bomb-making manuals and other propaganda.

Amman, now 20, had declared his own wish to carry out a terror attack and stockpiled a combat knife, air gun and black flag at his family home in London.

The North West London College student even told his girlfriend of his allegiance to Isis and encouraged her to behead her own parents because they were non-Muslims.

Prosecutors told the Old Bailey that Amman was “clearly someone with sincerely held and concerning ideological beliefs”.

After pleading guilty to six charges of possession and seven of disseminating terrorism documents, he was jailed for three years and four months.

Then 18, he had declared his own wish to carry out a terror attack and had stockpiled a combat knife, air gun and black flag at his family home in London.

At the top of a list of Amman's “life goals” was dying a martyr and going to Jannah - the afterlife.

In online chats, Amman told his girlfriend and a friend of his hatred for “kuffars” (non-believers), his allegiance to Isis and his wish to carry out a terror attack.

In one message he even encouraged his girlfriend to behead her own “kuffar parents”, and posted al-Qaeda propaganda to a family WhatsApp group including children as young as 11.

Forensic specialists recovered in excess of 349,000 media files from Amman’s laptop, mobile phone and other digital devices, including manuals on combat techniques, knife-fighting and bomb-making.

Prosecutors said he had a “fascination with conducting an attack focused on using a knife”.

Amman is likely to have been released after serving half of his sentence, less the time he had already spent in prison following his arrest in May 2018.

“There had been concerns when he was in prison but there were no powers for any authority to keep him behind bars,” a Whitehall source said.

The Metropolitan Police will be forced to answer questions on how Amman was able to launch an attack in front of the officers tasked with following him.

Sudesh Amman was jailed for terror offences (Metropolitan Police)

Sam Armstrong, from the Henry Jackson Society, a conservative think tank, said the society had warned in December that Amman was due for release within the next two months and should not be let out of prison.

Amman was under surveillance when he stabbed two people in Streatham high street at 2pm on Sunday, while wearing a hoax bomb strapped to his body.

"The suspect has not yet been formally identified however, given the circumstance of the incident, we are confident that he was Sudesh Amman," said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi.

"The suspect had been recently released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for Islamist-related terrorism offences."

He was shot dead by undercover officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation and were following Amman on foot.

A man and woman were treated in hospital for stab wounds. A third victim suffered minor injuries, believed to be from flying glass following the shooting.

Boris Johnson and home secretary Priti Patel have both said the government will announce “fundamental changes” to the way the justice system handles convicted terrorists.

The prime minister had already indicated – after the London Bridge attack in November – he wanted to end early release of convicted terrorists and change monitoring practices.

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