Streatham terror attacker Sudesh Amman wanted to ‘kill the Queen’

Streatham knife terrorist Sudesh Amman was repeatedly flagged during his 40-month jail sentence as being a danger to release – but a prison governor said today by the time they realised it was too late to extend his detention. 

The 20-year-old extremist was subject of multiple reports to HMP Belmarsh , including two that spelled out he could carry out a ‘community stabbing incident’.

Amman strived to get put in the ‘prison’s high security unit’ for ‘kudos’, repeatedly disengaged with attempts to help him, and said he wanted to kill the Queen.

He bragged about being the youngest terrorist in Belmarsh and openly spoke about becoming a suicide bomber and joining Isis.

Amman also associated with Manchester Arena bombing mastermind Hashem Abedi, abused a prison officer and smashed the observation window, as well as asking a fellow inmate to make a weapon and attack another convict.

He would shout out in the wings ‘This place is full of non-believers’ and ‘everyone here will come under the black flag of ISIS’.

But it was only a month before his release after an incident on January 3, 2020, that the authorities thought to refer him to try and extend his sentence.

He was released and a month later on February 2 carried out a terror attack that risk reports had tragically correctly predicted.

Amman was shot dead by police after he stabbed Monika Luftner, a 52-year-old nursery school teacher, in the back before knifing a male passer-by in the torso. 

Sudesh Amman was under 24-hour surveillance by armed police when he stole a eight-inch knife from a shop in South London and stabbed two people while wearing a fake suicide belt before he was shot dead

Sudesh Amman was under 24-hour surveillance by armed police when he stole a eight-inch knife from a shop in South London and stabbed two people while wearing a fake suicide belt before he was shot dead

Sudesh Amman was under 24-hour surveillance by armed police when he stole a eight-inch knife from a shop in South London and stabbed two people while wearing a fake suicide belt before he was shot dead

Sudesh Amman running along Streatham High Street captured on CCTV before the attack

Sudesh Amman running along Streatham High Street captured on CCTV before the attack

Sudesh Amman running along Streatham High Street captured on CCTV before the attack

Amman lies dead on the pavement on Streatham High Road after being shot dead by police

Amman lies dead on the pavement on Streatham High Road after being shot dead by police

Amman lies dead on the pavement on Streatham High Road after being shot dead by police

Armed police shot dead Amman after he grabbed a knife and stabbed a man and a woman

Armed police shot dead Amman after he grabbed a knife and stabbed a man and a woman

Armed police shot dead Amman after he grabbed a knife and stabbed a man and a woman

The second day of his inquest today heard evidence from Belmarsh governor Jenny Louis who explained due to the imminence of his release, additional days could not be added to his sentence.

She told jurors there was not enough time to refer the January incident to an independent adjudicator, which had the power to add time.

During the incident, Amman jumped on to internal netting inside the prison, supposedly in protest over the death of a Muslim inmate, disrupting the prison ‘regime’ for a short while.

‘It’s not an offence that would ever go to an independent adjudicator, it just doesn’t meet the threshold,’ said Ms Louis.

‘Mr Amman was on an internal netting… this is a passive approach usually taken by prisoners when they are unhappy.’

Earlier the inquest heard evidence relating to communications made to Belmarsh prison about the suspected risk and ‘significant concerns’ of Amman’s release.

A letter written by the Metropolitan Police to the Prison Service said: ‘It is clear … (Amman) has maintained an extremist mindset and the latest incidents indicate an escalation in his risk.

‘We are reviewing his risk assessment in light of the latest intelligence and this will most likely lead to his risk to be increased from ‘high’ to ‘very high’ to reflect the imminence of the risk posed by him upon release.’ 

The mobile phone given to and used by Sudesh Amman, which did not have internet access

The mobile phone given to and used by Sudesh Amman, which did not have internet access

The mobile phone given to and used by Sudesh Amman, which did not have internet access

CCTV  taken from Poundland of Sudesh Amman, buying items used in his fake suicide belt

CCTV  taken from Poundland of Sudesh Amman, buying items used in his fake suicide belt

CCTV  taken from Poundland of Sudesh Amman, buying items used in his fake suicide belt

The remnants of a hoax suicide belt used by Sudesh Amman in his 2020 Streatham attack

The remnants of a hoax suicide belt used by Sudesh Amman in his 2020 Streatham attack

The remnants of a hoax suicide belt used by Sudesh Amman in his 2020 Streatham attack 

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his bail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his bail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his bail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his nail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his nail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his nail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

CCTV images were released of Amman setting out from his nail hostel on the way to carry out his terror attack last year

Amman was seen walking the streets of Streatham moments before his terror attack, in these CCTV images released by the Metropolitan Police

Timeline: Streatham 2020 terror attack 

January 23, 2020

Sudesh Amman, a 20-year-old from Harrow in north-west London, is automatically released from prison having been handed a 40-month sentence for 13 counts of obtaining and distributing material used for terrorist purposes. He is released to a probation hostel in Streatham, south London.

January 24

Amman, who is originally from Coventry, is under day-time surveillance by plain clothes officers.

January 29

A decision is made to allow those surveillance officers to carry firearms.

January 30

Amman’s covert surveillance is relaxed slightly, meaning there would be no coverage between 6am and 10am due to intelligence about Amman’s lack of movement at this time of the day.

January 31

Amman is seen looking at knives in a shop and buying items that could be used to create a hoax suicide belt. These items include a roll of tape, aluminium foil and four bottles of Irn Bru soft drink. It is then decided to put Amman under 24-hour surveillance.

February 1

Amman is placed on ’round-the-clock’ – i.e. 24-hour – surveillance. This includes armed covert police, as well as uniformed officers nearby.

February 2

1.22pm – Amman leaves his approved premises, the probation hostel, at Leigham Court Road.

1.50pm – Amman is seen on Streatham High Road. He is said to be walking ‘very slowly’.

1.57pm – The 20-year-old enters a shop called Low Price Store. He is inside for barely a minute, and emerges with a knife which he has stolen. He is pursued by undercover police. Amman stabs two people – a man and a woman – before being shot at by an armed officer.

1.58pm – Amman, reaching the Boots shop, turns to face the police. Police shoot at him five times, with two shots hitting him. A total of 62 seconds after running from the shop, Amman falls to the ground.

2.40pm – A police explosives expert arrives on the scene to check the device around Amman’s waist, which was identified as a hoax.

3.24pm – Sudesh Amman is pronounced dead by a paramedic.

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Asked whether she agreed with the assessment, Belmarsh governor Jenny Louis said: ‘There was evidence to support that risk, yes.’

The inquest heard prison intelligence while in Belmarsh suggested Sudesh Amman wanted to spend time in the prison’s high security unit due to the ‘kudos’ it gave him among his peer group.

The intelligence report said: ‘He is an impressionable young man who appears to crave status.’

Jonathan Hough QC, counsel to the inquest, said there were a number of consistent themes during Amman’s time in prison, including evidence of a continued extremist mindset, disruptive anti-authority behaviour, interest in committing attacks, and being resistant to efforts aimed at disrupting him.

Jenny Louis, Belmarsh governor, told the inquest: ‘A number of times you can engage with an individual, and Sudesh Amman chose to disengage a number of times.

‘I think it’s very rare that you have somebody who disengages so openly whilst in custody.’

The inquest also saw excerpts from two Extremist Risk Guidance (ERG) assessments during Amman’s time in Belmarsh, which highlighted his potential to strike upon release.

The first assessment highlighted the previous intelligence that Amman spoke of his ‘desire to kill the Queen, become a suicide bomber, and join Isis’.

The second assessment found ‘an escalation in the presence of over-identification with an extremist group, cause or ideology to ‘strongly present”.

Both reports suggested Amman posed a risk to the community through a potential stabbing incident.  

In one phone call from prison Amman said: ‘I was a bad person, I’m not going to lie to you, I still am a bad person but Allah will forgive me, you know I’m a bad person.’

Jurors were told he was subject to a total of 30 ‘stringent licence restrictions’ following his release from prison, including sticking to agreed curfew hours and not using any internet-enabled devices without permission.

He had been serving a 40-month sentence for 13 terror offences after pleading guilty to six counts of possessing material useful for terrorism and seven counts of disseminating terrorist material online. 

Detective Chief Inspector Luke Williams from the Metropolitan Police said staff at the approved premises where Amman lived said he ‘was polite to staff and didn’t cause them concern’.

He said Amman had been provided with a Nokia 105 mobile phone which did not allow any internet capability, and had meetings with both a practical and theological mentor to assist with his return to the community.

But Mr Williams added that reports said Amman still ‘appeared proud to have been the youngest terrorist offender at Belmarsh – and didn’t seem remorseful.’

He confirmed details about Amman’s life in the build-up to his arrest for terror offences in May 2018.

The Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife before stabbing passersby

The Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife before stabbing passersby

The Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife before stabbing passersby

Police handout photo of knife packaging at the Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife

Police handout photo of knife packaging at the Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife

Police handout photo of knife packaging at the Low Price Store on Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife

A receipt from Poundland when Sudesh Amman, on January 31 2020, bought items used in his fake suicide belt.

A receipt from Poundland when Sudesh Amman, on January 31 2020, bought items used in his fake suicide belt.

A receipt from Poundland when Sudesh Amman, on January 31 2020, bought items used in his fake suicide belt.

Jonathan Hough QC, counsel to the inquest, said Amman’s phone was analysed following his arrest and among the thousands of lines of chat was evidence that Amman ‘talked about preferring knives over guns and making sure he targets those who don’t look like Muslims’.

Mr Hough said: ‘He talked about wanting to commit a terrorist attack and asks (his apparent girlfriend at the time) if she can order him a machete.’ 

A folder on Amman’s computer named ‘Chemistry’ included videos and instruction manuals concerning use of weapons.

Another instruction manual was described as: ‘How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mum.’

A notebook found in Amman’s bedroom listed what were believed to be his ‘Goals for life’, which included paradise and jihad.

The inquest also heard how Amman went on holiday with a friend’s family in March 2018 during which he was seen ‘reading a book about paradise’.

He also had a conversation with the friend’s mother about ‘fighting in Syria’ – something the woman tried to discourage his interest in. 

Yesterday the inquest showed him in CCTV images setting out from his bail hostel on his way to carry out the horrendous attack.  

Amman – from Harrow – was automatically released from prison on January 23, 2020, and placed under 24-hour surveillance by police and security services. 

Just 10 days later, the terrorist ran into a shop on Streatham High Road, stole an eight-inch carving knife, and stabbed two people on a 62-second rampage while wearing a fake suicide belt.  

He stabbed Monika Luftner, a 52-year-old nursery school teacher, in the back.

He then knifed a male passer-by in the torso before being confronted by two armed surveillance officers.

Police fired six bullets and Amman was pronounced dead 90 minutes later, once explosives experts had established that the belt wrapped around his body was harmless.  

Amman was said to have been a prefect and mentor at his school before developing ‘behavioural issues’ and showing signs of ‘anger’, according to counter-terrorism police.

An inquest heard how Amman’s mother had told officers from the Met Police’s counter-terrorism unit how her son used to become angry with her, his brothers and other people while he was at school.

He also became more religious from around 2014, when he began praying in his bedroom, according to his mother.

As his behaviour worsened, Amman was later suspended three times from school, including for being under the influence of alcohol and a ‘serious weapons offence’. 

The convicted terrorist was shot by armed police as he carried out a knife attack in Streatham in January last year – 10 days after being release from prison.

It was also revealed how police were so concerned about pleaded with a prison governor not to release him because he still held ‘extremist views’ and had told an inmate he was ‘not finished with non-believers’, his inquest heard today.

However, the request to extend Amman’s custody was turned down because the earlier offence that he had committed could not justify an extension of his sentence, a senior Met officer told jurors.  

Link hienalouca.com

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