Streatham terrorist Sudesh Amman was under full surveillance since he was released from jail and caused security teams such worry they were advised to carry guns because he was so dangerous.
Amman, 20, was shot dead by officers on Streatham High Street after he stabbed two people on Sunday – just days after he was released from prison on January 23.
He had been jailed for three years and four months in December 2018, when he pleaded guilty to 13 counts including possessing bomb-making manuals and knife-fighting guides, but he was automatically released halfway through his sentence, despite fears he still held extremist views.
It is now understood that counter-terrorism bosses decided Amman needed round-the-clock watching by officers, and shortly after this decision surveillance squads were ordered to arm themselves after he was assessed to be even more dangerous than originally thought, sources told the Guardian.
Whether officers carried concealed pistols for their own safety or to make an arrest is unclear.
In the Queen’s Speech before Christmas, following the most recent terror attack on the capital, Boris Johnson promised changes including tougher surveillance and 14-year sentences for all serious terror offences, however:
- The Parole Board confirmed it did not reassess Amman to ascertain if he was a danger before his release
- Amman had displayed several ‘risk indicators’, including lack of remorse and allegiance to an extremist group
- It was ‘obvious’ to the Henry Jackson society that he was ‘one of the most high-risk extremists around’
- In December Mr Johnson had promised a review of license conditions for 74 terrorists released from jail early
Mr Johnson, whose government is under pressure to answer how yesterday’s terror attack was allowed to happen just weeks after he promised tighter controls, has now said the Government is preparing to take action to end the automatic early release of prisoners currently in jail for terrorist offences.
Armed police shoot dead extremist Sudesh Amman, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, after he grabbed a knife from a shop and stabbed a man and a woman in a brutal high-street rampage in Streatham, South London, at about 2pm yesterday
Sudesh Amman, 20, from Harrow in North West London, had previously fantasised about carrying out a terror attack with a blade or with acid while riding a moped and had been jailed in December 2018 – before being released just days ago
Forensics on Streatham High Road, where terrorist Sudesh Amman stabbed shoppers on Sunday before being shot by police
The Prime Minister, whose government is under pressure to answer how yesterday’s terror attack was allowed to happen just weeks after he promised tighter controls, has now said the Government is preparing to take action to end the automatic early release of prisoners currently in jail for terrorist offences
On January 21 the government vowed to introduce new anti-terror measures in the ‘first 100 days’ of its administration to carry out the Prime Minister’s pledge on tougher sentences, overhaul the terrorist licensing regime, double the number of specialist counter-terror probation officers and introduce polygraph testing.
The Conservative election victory in December would suggest a deadline of March 21 to implement these.
Now former Met Police chief superintendent Dal Babu is calling for a public inquiry into why Amman was let out of prison just months after Usman Khan - who had himself been convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012 - carried out his attack on London Bridge last year.
What Boris’s government promised – but so far NOTHING is in place
In the Queen’s Speech before Christmas, following his December election win, Boris Johnson pledged to end the early release of of dangerous terrorists and introduce minimum 14 year jail terms.
Last year two people were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, at Fishmongers’ Hall after he attended a prisoner rehabilitation event.
He had been released on licence in December 2018.
‘If you are convicted of a serious terrorist offence, there should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years – and some should never be released,’ the Prime Minster said then.
‘Further, for all terrorism and extremist offences the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served – these criminals must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions.’
Mr Johnson has now said the Government has ‘moved quickly’ to introduce measures to strengthen the UK’s response to terrorism.
Last month details of The Counter Terrorism (Sentencing and Release) Bill were released.
They included forcing dangerous terrorists who receive extended determinate sentences to serve the whole time behind bars, and scrapping early release from jail for those classed as dangerous and handed extended determinate sentences.
Terrorists deemed not to be a risk would have to serve two-thirds of their sentence before the Parole Board could consider them for release, as part of the bill.
The required legislation has yet to be passed by MPs as politicians concentrated on getting Brexit done.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was ‘angry’ this morning at the ‘lack of progress’, saying the Streatham attack on Sunday was ‘clearly foreseeable’.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘One of the things we were promised in November when we had the two fatalities is that the Government would learn the lessons and make sure they would change the policies they brought in a few years ago…
‘But for an inch this way or that way, but for the brilliance of the medics and the speed of the police, there would have been two fatalities and many more.
‘And that’s one of the reasons why I’m not just frustrated but I’m angry at the changes made in the past and the lack of progress in making the changes we were promised in November.’
He said they had been told at the time there would be a ‘comprehensive risk assessment’ on terror criminals being released, but ‘fundamental failures’ have now led to a situation where someone ‘who’s clearly very dangerous has been released on the 50 per cent rule and within days they’ve gone out and tried to kill people’.
The right-leaning Henry Jackson Society identified Amman as an extremist close to automatic early release in a newspaper report in December, warning that he was still too dangerous to be freed. A spokesperson today told MailOnline Amman would have been one of the ‘top five’ considered by British security forces and ‘one of the most dangerous offenders’ in the country.
Boris Johnson today said: ’We are bringing forward legislation to stop the system of automatic early release. The difficulty is how to apply retrospectively to the cohort of people who currently qualify,’ he said.
‘It is time to take action to ensure, irrespective of the law we are bringing in, people in the current stream don’t qualify automatically for early release.’
Mr Johnson had pledged to end the early release of of dangerous terrorists and introduce minimum 14 year jail terms – having first made the commitment in the wake of November’s deadly London Bridge attack – shortly after his election win.
But the required legislation has yet to be passed by MPs as politicians concentrated on getting Brexit done.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was ‘angry’ this morning at the ‘lack of progress’, saying the Streatham attack on Sunday was ‘clearly foreseeable’.
Mr Khan warned that prisons are now ’warehouses’ for radicalisation where offenders are learning from a ‘university of crime’ rather than being rehabilitated.
He called on the Government to give jails resources and support to ‘properly punish and reform’ those convicted of a serious offence as well as handing judges the power to pass sentences which would keep dangerous terrorists behind bars.
At present most offenders handed an immediate jail term are typically released halfway through their sentence on licence under rules introduced in 2005.
Mr Khan said ministers and officials needed to ‘recognise’ assurances must be sought that criminals no longer pose a risk to the public when they are released from jail.
Referring to Amman, he said: ‘The reality is this was a man convicted of a terror-related offence, this was a man released very recently on January 23 who police and the authorities knew was a potential danger.
‘And my concern is this was an attack that was both predictable and preventable.’
Forensics officers outside a Boots chemist on Streatham High Road today as the investigation into the attack continues
The terrorist had been shot dead outside a Boots after undercover officers with handguns swooped. The terrorist is pictured wearing a fake suicide vest, left, and his knife, right
A team of five anti-terror police stand behind shields while responding to the incident
As of the end of September, there were 224 terrorists behind bars in Great Britain with most thought to be holding Islamist-extremist views.
Streatham terrorist kept a notebook saying his goal was to ‘die as a martyr’
Sudesh Amman kept a notebook in which he wrote that his ‘goals in life’ were: ‘Die as a shuhada’, which means martyr, and ‘go to jannah’, which translates as paradise
Sudesh Amman kept a notebook with his four ‘life goals’ – including being a martyr and going to paradise.
Amman’s notes were revealed when he was jailed for 13 terror offences at the Old Bailey, 14 months before his terror rampage in Streatham.
He kept a notebook in which he wrote that his ‘goals in life’ were: ‘Die as a shuhada’, which means martyr, and ‘go to jannah’, which translates as paradise.
Aged 18 at the time of his sentencing in December 2018, Amman had smiled and waved at the public gallery as he was jailed for three years and four months.
Amman is believed to have been back on the streets for just a few weeks before the stabbing attack – fulfilling one of his so-called life goals of dying 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.
Amman posted Al Qaeda propaganda on a family WhatsApp group, exposing siblings as young as 11 to graphic material, and had shared bomb-making literature via Skype chat.
He had told his girlfriend of his wish to carry out acid attacks and that he preferred the idea of a knife attack over using bombs.
The ‘vast majority’, 77% (173), were branded as holding Islamist-extremist views, according to Home Office data.
A further 17% were categorised as holding far right-wing ideologies
Jonathan Hall QC, Independent Review of Terrorism Legislation, said the Government could be preparing emergency legislation along the lines of post-9/11 laws, which could include civil measures to detain individuals who have not committed a crime.
In December the Henry Jackson Society warned that up to 180 convicted Islamist terrorists had been released from jail early over the past two decades, with court records showing 187 of the 264 jailed before 2015 had been eligible for early release.
Their report named Amman as one of three who was up for release.
A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Amman had a lot of risk indicators: lack of remorse at sentencing, evidence of encryption, relatively young age, allegience to extremist group, ie ISIS.
‘Every extremist risk indicator you could possibly have. It was obvious to us that he was one of the most high-risk extremists around.
‘Looking at the level of how closely he was monitored he would have been in the top five considered by security services in the UK.
‘That level of detail is phenomenally expensive. There is no way he wasn’t one of the most dangerous offenders in the UK.’
Ian Acheson, who led an independent review of Islamist extremism in prisons, probation and youth justice in 2016, said the risk-management system was ‘broken’, telling the BBC’s Today programme he was ‘concerned’ about the prison service’s ability to manage terrorist offenders.
He said: ’I am still unconvinced that the prison service itself has the aptitude or the attitude to assertively manage terrorist offenders… We may need to accept that there are certain people who are so dangerous they must be kept in prison indefinitely.’
Amman’s mother Haleema Khan, 41, is said to be ‘disgusted’ and ‘very upset’ with her 20-year-old son’s knife rampage and rejects his fanatical Islamic extremist beliefs, a source close to the family said.
Amman lived with Mrs Khan and his five younger brothers in Harrow, North West London, before he was jailed for terror offences at the Old Bailey in December 2018.
Mrs Khan, who has since moved to the Bedfordshire market town of Dunstable, is now trying to get her son’s body from police ‘as soon as possible’ to bury him.
Pictured is Amman as a teenager. His mother Haleema Khan, 41, is said to be ‘disgusted’ and ‘very upset’ with her 20-year-old son’s knife rampage and rejects his fanatical Islamic extremist beliefs, a source close to the family said
Forensics on Streatham High Road today where jihadi terrorist Sudesh Amman stabbed shoppers on Sunday afternoon
Police seal off a bail hostel last night on Leigham Court Road in Streatham, around a mile from the scene of yesterday’s attack
Police load items into a car in Streatham overnight as they search a bail hostel. The extremist had been jailed for three years and four months in December 2018, when he pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing terrorist documents
Some of the items, which include electronics and handwritten notes, seized from the terrorist’s hostel in Streatham overnight
A family source told MailOnline today: ‘Haleema is disgusted by what he has done and his beliefs, but she is a mother and has lost a son so she is very upset and sad.
TIMELINE: TERROR CRIMINALS ATTACK AFTER BEING RELEASED
February 2012: Usman Khan is sentenced for planning to set up a terrorist camp in Pakistan
2018: Khan, 28, is released from prison on license with an electronic tag
December 2018: Sudesh Amman is sentenced to three years and four months for sharing bomb-making manuals with relatives – one of 13 counts
November 2019: Khan attended an event at Fishmonger’s Hall organised by Learning Together, a Cambridge University programme that helps rehabilitate inmates and ex-offenders and murdered Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25
December 2019: Boris Johnson promises to bring in changes to the justice system, including 14-year minimum sentences for serious terror offences and a government review of license conditions
The Henry Jackson society report Amman as one of three convicted terrorists who may soon be released
January 2020: Amman is believed to have been automatically released from prison without undergoing a Parole Board assessment
February 2, 2010: Amman stabs two people and is shot dead by police in Streatham High Road
‘But they are relieved that he wasn’t able to kill anyone. It has hit them very hard, but now they are trying to get his body from the police as soon as possible and bury him.
‘This is done as quickly as one can for Muslims as is custom and prayers for him will begin shortly.’
Metropolitan Police officers were seen overnight combing through a bail hostel in Streatham, where Amman is believed to have lived following his automatic early release from prison.
Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command said they were searching two residential addresses – one in South London and the other nearly 40 miles away in the Hertfordshire market town of Bishop’s Stortford.
No arrests have been made.
The Ministry of Justice had said that the most serious offenders had sentences that required parole board approval for release.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a review in December into the licence conditions of 74 terrorists who had been let out of jail early, following the London Bridge atrocity by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on November 29
A Whitehall source claimed Amman was released despite concerns because the law didn’t give them the power to keep him in jail.
Residents at the bail hostel where he was believed to have been staying claim he had previously tried to take his life and had been asking for medication.
Speaking after Amman was named as the attacker, Henry Jackson Society fellow Dr Paul Stott said: ‘We need an immediate moratorium on the release of terrorist prisoners, whilst the government reviews each individual case.’
Yesterday, while being under active police surveillance and ‘very stringent licencing conditions’, he launched a horrific knife rampage in Streatham, leaving one man in a life-threatening condition, though he later recovered.
Police outside the bail hostel in Streatham overnight where Amman is thought to have stayed after his early prison release