London Metropolitan police shot dead an ex-convict with a terrorist record who went on a stabbing spree in Streatham High Road on Sunday. The attacker, who has been identified as Sudesh Amman, stabbed two people on a busy high street and threatened the police with a fake suicide vest. The Metropolitan police said the attack was an "Islamist.-related terrorist incident". The 20-year-old was jailed in December 2018 for Islamist-related terror offences, reports said.
Video footage posted on social media revealed the fear and anxiety the civilians experienced during the stabbing spree, and the shootout that followed. It was soon revealed that the ex-convict, whose full name is Sudesh Mamoor Faraz Amman, was released from prison just days ago.
The ex-convict was under active police surveillance when the attack happened. Three people were injured during the incident but their condition is not life-threatening. Enquires are being held to understand who was behind the attack or if it was a lone-wolf attack.
Who is Sudesh Amman?
Not much information is publicly available about the 20-year old terrorist except that the police have enough evidence to say that he was an ISIS and al-Qaeda supporter. The Times of India reported that Amman had extended family in Sri Lanka. It has come to light that he was just 17 when he started sharing extremist material through Whatsapp. it has also been reported that he was a normal college student who had a family and a girlfriend. Amman used to make comments about Islamist extremism to his girlfriend and other family members and friends.
If you can't make a bomb, take a knife'
One day he told his girlfriend: "If you can't make a bomb because family, friends or spies are watching or suspecting you, take a knife, Molotov, sound bombs or a car at night and attack the tourists (crusaders), police and soldiers of taghut, or western embassies in every country you are in this planet."
The attacker was first noticed by the officials after his posts under the name @strangertothisworld. The police were immediately alerted and in April 2018 forensics cracked his identity. His digital devices that were taken in for analyzing contained 349,000 media files that had manuals on combat techniques, knife fighting, and bomb-making. It revealed that Amman was obsessed with knife fighting and acid attacks. It was also revealed that he had been following the ISIL videos and had shared four links related to it.
Possessed bomb-making manuals
During the Old Biley trial in 2018 had revealed all the features that made him an extremist. In the trial, it was said that he possessed bomb-making manuals and a document called Bloody Brazilian Knife Fightin' Techniques. Even with terror activity in his records, he was released early under the current laws.
Before he was released the police were warned that he was still radicalized and had chances of turning to his old ways. And weeks later he was roaming Streatham with a bloodied knife. He was fascinated with the idea of dying because of his terrorist activities.
Videos and pictures show Streatham encounter
The videos that have been circulating clearly shows a fear-stricken London. With people waiting for the hoax bomb to explode and officers rushing to secure the perimeter. After Amman was shot the fear was still there as the police tried to decode the incident and understand if it was terror-related.
The police are still rounding up the evidence and understanding if this is connected to any other terrorist group.