Streatham terror suspect released from prison days ago and 'under active surveillance'

A man who stabbed at least two people in a terrorist attack in south London on Sunday afternoon (February 2) has been shot dead by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Feb 2, 2020
By Tony Thompson

The MPS thanked members of the public for their assistance in what was initially described as a “confusing and alarming incident”, but in later statements amended this to a “difficult incident”.

Three people were taken to hospital, including two who were stabbed by the terrorist. A man in his forties who was initially described as being in a life-threatening condition has since received treatment and this is no longer the case.

A woman in her fifties received non-life threatening injuries and has been discharged from hospital.

A woman in her twenties received minor injuries, believed to be as a result of glass broken when the police firearm was discharged. She has also left hospital.

The attacker was named by the media as 20-year-old Sudesh Amman, who was released on January 23 after serving half of his three-years and four months prison sentence for terror-related offences.

He had been convicted on 13 charges in November 2018. It is further reported that there had been concerns about the danger he posed on release, but there were no legal measures available to keep Amman in prison.

Search warrants are being carried out at two residential addresses in the south London and Bishop Stortford areas.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced on Monday (February 3) additional measures to end the early release of those convicted of terrorist offences and boost the resources available to counter-terror policing.

Pictures on social media show Amman, wearing what has since been confirmed as a hoax suicide vest, lying face down on the pavement outside a pharmacy on Streatham High Road, South London.

Residents from nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution.

The Metropolitan Police Service said Amman entered a shop and stole a knife. He left the shop pursued by an assistant. However, he removed the wrapping from the knife and began attacking members of the public.

Members of the counter-terror surveillance team responded, fatally shooting him “within approximately 60 seconds of him beginning to attack people”.

The officers saw that a device was strapped to his body and called in specialist explosives officers and additional armed officers to deal with the potential threat the device posed.

Annan was under ‘active surveillance’, explaining why plain clothed officers were on the scene when the shooting took place and why it was declared to be a terrorist incident within less than an hour.

He had been followed on foot after leaving a Streatham property shortly after 1.20pm.

In a statement, MPS Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said: “At approximately 2pm today (Sunday, February 2) two people were stabbed in Streatham High Road, Lambeth.

“Armed officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation and were following the suspect on foot, were in immediate attendance and shot a male suspect dead at the scene.

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

“The officers saw that a device was strapped to his body and called in specialist explosives officers and additional armed officers to deal with the potential threat that posed.

“Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device.”

Reports emerged that one of the victims could not receive medical attention for 30 minutes after the attack due to fears the suspected explosive device was real.

Ms D’Orsi said initial first aid was provided to victims by officers and London Ambulance Service continued their treatment once they were able to do so safely.

She added: “We are confident that this is an isolated incident that has been contained. Officers from our Counter Terrorism Command are investigating at pace.”

Although the suspect has not yet been formally identified, Ms D’Orsi confirmed he was Amman.

“We would like to thank the numerous members of the public who assisted officers and ambulance staff this afternoon following what was a very difficult incident. I am also extremely proud of the bravery of our armed officers.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “I am in close contact with the Met Commissioner and local representatives, and want to thank our police, security and emergency services staff for their swift and courageous response. They truly are the best of us. Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life – here in London we will never let them succeed.”

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