London stabbing attacker identified as terrorist on early prison release

Wet Road
A man walks past a flower in a puddle next to newly installed security barriers on a wet and windy morning on Westminster Bridge, in London, Britain, June 6, 2017. |

The man who was shot dead by police in south London’s Streatham area after he injured three people with a knife Sunday has been identified as 20-year-old Sudesh Amman, who had earlier been sentenced for terror offenses.

Amman, who carried out an Islamist-related terrorist incident wearing a fake bomb vest on a busy street, was under police surveillance since he was released a week earlier having served half of a sentence for terror offenses, BBC reported.

He had been sentenced in December 2018 to three years and four months in jail for sharing his extremist views with others, including encouraging his girlfriend to kill her “unbelieving” parents by sending her beheading videos, according to Sky News.

He expressed support for the Islamic State terror group, according to The Guardian. He wrote, “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.”

Amman, who is from Harrow in northwest London, had a “fascination with dying in the name of terrorism,” according to a notepad police recovered from his home, acting Commander Alexis Boon, head of the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, said at the time of his conviction. “Amman had scrawled his ‘life goals’ in the notepad and top of the list, above family activities, was dying a martyr and going to ‘Jannah,’ the afterlife.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement after Sunday afternoon’s attack, saying, “I want to pay tribute to the speed and bravery of the police who responded and confronted the attacker — preventing further injuries and violence — and all of the emergency services who came to the aid of others.” He said an investigation was underway, and “the government will provide all necessary support to the police and security services.”

“We are confident that this is an isolated incident,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi was quoted as saying. All the stabbing victims were said to be out of danger, police said.

“Terrorists seek to divide us and destroy our way of life. Here in London we will never let them succeed,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

In November, police shot a terrorist on parole after he stabbed two people to death in central London.

Also in November, British security services lowered their assessment of the risk of a major terrorist attack to “substantial,” which indicated that a terror attack was likely, according to The Wall Street Journal. The government had thought at the time that British jihadis were less likely to return from Syria after the defeat of the Islamic State terror group.

Prime Minister Johnson said the country would review rules that allow people convicted of terror offenses to get early release from prison.

Last year, around 74 convicted terrorists had been granted an early release from prison.

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