The terrorist shot dead by police after stabbing two people in Streatham today was automatically released from prison just a few days ago, after serving less than half of a three year-plus sentence for 13 terror offences.
‘Knife-obsessed’ Sudesh Amman, 20, from Harrow, fantasised about carrying out a terror attack with a blade or with acid while riding a moped and also shared Al Qaeda propaganda on a WhatsApp group used by his family.
He was jailed for three years and four months in December 2018 after he pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing terrorist documents.
However, it has now emerged that he was automatically released just a few days ago, after serving half of his sentence, despite authorities being concerned that he continued to hold extremist views.
Today, while being under active police surveillance and ‘very stringent licencing conditions’, he launched a horrific knife rampage in Streatham, south London, leaving one man in a life-threatening condition.
Wearing a fake suicide vest, Amman stole a £3.99 blade from a convenience store and stabbed the man in the stomach before knifing a female cyclist in the back.
Armed police were on the scene within minutes, having been following him because they suspected he was going to launch a terrorist attack imminently. After he failed to stop, Amman was shot dead outside a Boots chemist.
After the rampage, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would announce further plans for ‘fundamental changes to the system for dealing with those convicted of terrorism offences’ on Monday.
A Whitehall source claimed he was released despite concerns because the law didn’t give them the power to keep him in jail.
Before being jailed in 2018, Amman asked his girlfriend to kill her parents because they were ‘kuffar’ and wrote about how his goal was to be a martyr.
His stash of manuals on bomb making, knife fighting and close combat included the titles Bloody Brazilian Knife Fighting and How to Make A Bomb In Your Kitchen.
The North West London College student jotted down how to make explosives in a notebook and was planning a terrorist attack in Queensbury, northwest London, during Skype chats.
Amman posted a link to a pdf copy of the ‘Inspire’ magazine focusing on the idea of the ‘Lone Jihad’ in a family WhatsApp group in January this year, exposing children as young as 11 to extremist material.
The document contained an article about ‘the successful pressure cooker bomb’ and provided detailed instructions on how to maximise casualties through the use of IEDs.
After he was jailed, Alexis Boon, head of the Met Police counter-terrorism command, said: ‘His fascination with dying in the name of terrorism was clear in a notepad we recovered from his home.’
At the time of his trial, prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst said: ‘The defendant had discussed with his family, friends and girlfriend his strong and often extreme views on jihad, the kuffar, and his desire to carry out a terrorist attack.
‘Much of his fascination with conducting an attack was focused on using a knife but reference was also made to committing acid attacks on mopeds.
‘The Crown contends that the defendant’s interest in Islamic extremism and Daesh in particular is more than a mere immature fascination with the taboo and with graphic violence. He is clearly someone with sincerely held and concerning ideological beliefs which motivate him to collect and disseminate such material.
‘For example, he is seen telling his girlfriend in online chat how he has declared a pledge to Islamic State and wishes to purge society and carry out acid attacks. Elsewhere he is seen telling her he prefers the idea of a knife attack over use of bombs.’
A Whitehall source said this evening: ‘He was under surveillance, that is what allowed police to do their job so quickly. It could have been much worse than it was.
‘There had been concerns when he was in prison but there were no powers for any authority to keep him behind bars.
‘There was nothing that could be done to keep him behind bars under existing laws, hence why he was under surveillance and strict licencing conditions.
‘He had served half of his sentence, which was more than three years, so had to be released despite concerns over his conduct.