Streatham terror attack could've been PREVENTED as Sudesh Amman was known as 'one of UK's most dangerous', inquest rules

A TERROR rampage in Streatham could have prevented if the attacker had been recalled to jail after buying items for his fake suicide belt.

Sudesh Amman was freed from prison just ten days before he grabbed a carving knife from a shop and began hacking at passers-by.

The 20-year-old was shot dead by undercover officers on Streatham High Road just 62 seconds after he unleashed into the stabbing frenzy.

An inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice today ruled probation "missed an opportunity" to send Amman back to jail.

Jurors also concluded the warped jihadi was lawfully killed following the attack on February 2 last year.

The inquest was told officials had three opportunities to stop the attack.

Amman was half-way through a 40-month sentence for obtaining and distributing material for terrorist purposes when he released from jail.

The ISIS fanatic had laughed when he was sentenced and boasted of a "strong desire to go to the afterlife" while at Belmarsh.

Amman also divulged his fantasy of killing the Queen and his disappointment at not being involved in the murder of Lee Rigby.

A senior officer had written to the governor of Belmarsh begging to keep the terrorist, who wanted join ISIS and become a suicide bomber, behind bars.

Amman was also branded "one of the most dangerous individuals" by police and MI5, who believed it was a question of "when, not if" he would launch an attack, just two weeks before.

But he was still released from prison and was instead monitored round-the-clock by undercover officers.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

The inquest was told there were three opportunities to stop the attack in the ten days between him walking free and then carrying out the atrocity.

He was even under surveillance on January 31 when he bought Iron Bru, Bacofoil and brown parcel tape in Poundland to make a fake suicide vest.

Amman was also seen in the Low Price Store where he later grabbed the knife sizing up the blades on display.

Police and spooks held an emergency meeting that night but decided to leave him free to roam the streets.

Officials also chose not to search in the probation hostel he was staying in over the next two days.

The inquest was told had they done so, they could have found the fake suicide vest – allowing them to arrest him and send him back to jail.

The probation service also decided his suspicious behaviour was not enough to justify recalling him to prison for another 20 months to complete his sentence.

A third missed opportunity came on the day of the attack when Amman was seen pacing up and down in a bulky coat as he made his way towards Streatham High Road.

KNIFE RAMPAGE

Amman was instead free to stab a man and woman before turning to ambush armed cops as terrified onlookers watched on.

The officers opened fire on the terrorist and brought the rampage to an end just over a minute after it began.

He wasn't treated for his injuries because of the possible suicide vest but it was later ruled his two gunshot wounds were unsurvivable.

One of the officers, known as BX87, broke down as he told the inquest he believed Amman was going to kill him.

He said: "(It) was like a cartoon – the blade of the knife almost doubled in size," he said.

"It really dawned on me at this point that I was going to get stabbed."

His male stabbing victim also told how he "couldn't breathe" during the broad daylight horror.

He said: "I didn't realise I had been stabbed until I saw the blood.

"I felt something on my right-hand side, blood was spurting out and hitting my hand.

"I couldn't breathe when the knife went in.

"I looked but couldn't believe it until I saw the blood hitting my hand and realised it was me."

Timeline of terror – how Amman was freed to carry out attack

– January 23 2020

Sudesh Amman is automatically released from Belmarsh 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, despite pleas from police and MI5 to keep him in custody for longer due to his extremist views.

– January 24

Amman is placed under daytime 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 from Poundland that police – presciently – fear could be used to create a hoax suicide belt. These items include a parcel tape, aluminium foil and four 250ml bottles of Irn-Bru soft drink. It is then decided to put Amman under 24-hour surveillance rather than to arrest him and blow the cover of the covert operation.

– 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. He leaves his flat just once, for around 22 minutes at lunchtime, to go to a nearby takeaway for a chicken meal.

– February 2

1.22pm – Amman leaves his probation hostel in Leigham Court Road.

1.50pm – He is seen in Streatham High Road. He is said to be walking "very slowly", appearing lost, and changing direction at various times.

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. Both survive.

1.58pm – Amman, reaching Boots, turns to face the officers. They shoot at him, with at least 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 and carefully remove the device around Amman's waist. It contains three bottles, wrapped in tin foil and attached to a belt with brown tape. It is later identified as a hoax.

3.24pm – Amman is pronounced dead by a paramedic.

He suffered five wounds and was forced to undergo surgery after being knifed.

The female victim suffered a 2cm wound to her back and was sent home from hospital later that day.

Amman was of Sri Lankan descent and was raised in Coventry and Birmingham before moving to Harrow in North West London.

He was convicted in 2018 of 13 counts of collecting material useful for terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications.

Amman was found to be encouraging his then-girlfriend to kill her parents and cops discovered bomb-making manuals and jihadi flags at his home.

While in prison, Amman felt he was a celebrity and boasted to fellow lags he was Belmarsh's youngest terror offender.

He also described himself as "a wild tiger who doesn't obey the law" as he rubbed shoulders with other terrorists – including Parsons Green bomber Ahmed Hassan.

Amman also reportedly mixed with Hashem Abedi, who helped his suicide bomber brother Salman make the explosive that killed 22 people in Manchester.

His release from jail later sparked a change in the law to prevent terror offenders being automatically freed at the half-way point of their jail sentence.





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