On the afternoon of February 2, 2020, a man attacked a number of people on Streatham High Road, in south London, U.K. Police officers quickly responded to the scene and shot the suspected attacker. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two victims were stabbed in the attack and brought to the hospital. The Metropolitan Police posted on Twitter that the incident was declared as “a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related.”
The suspect in this attack has been named by the Metropolitan Police as Sudesh Amman, aged 20, from Harrow in London, UK.
Here is what you need to know about Sudesh Amman:
1. Amman Was Released From Prison in January 2020
According to Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) Lucy D’Orsi with the Metropolitan Police, Amman was “recently released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for Islamist-related terrorism offences.”
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement after the Streatham attack stating that the government would “announce further plans for fundamental changes to the system for dealing with those convicted of terrorism offences,” as reported by the BBC.
2. Amman Was Under Active Police Surveillance at the Time of the Attack
The statement from the Metropolitan Police DAC shares that “Armed officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation and were following the suspect on foot, were in immediate attendance and shot a male suspect dead at the scene.”
This is why authorities were able to confirm the suspect’s identity even though he has not yet been formally identified.
3. He Wore a Hoax Explosive Device During the Attack
The police found a device strapped to the suspect and put cordons in place while a special team attended. As per their Twitter update, these officers “quickly established that this was a hoax device.”
DAC D’Orsi clarified in her statement that the armed police officers shot the suspect dead immediately. At this point, they saw “that a device was strapped to his body and called in specialist explosives officers and additional armed officers” to handle this new possible threat. A protective cordon was put in place, and officers were able to quickly determine that the device was a hoax.
Sky News reported that an unnamed witness explained seeing that the attacker had “silver canisters on his chest.”
4. He Was Sentenced for Terrorism Offenses in December 2018
On December 17, 2018, Sudesh Mamoor Faraz Faraz aka Amman, then 18 years old, was sentenced for 13 terror offenses.
Amman pleaded guilty to all charges in front of Judge Mark Lucraft QC. These charges were: six counts of “possessing/collecting a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism,” and seven counts of “dissemination of a terrorist publication.” At the time, he received a jail sentence of three years and four months. It is believed that he was released about halfway through his sentence.
The BBC reported back in December 2018 that during his court case, Amman was found to possess “bomb-making manuals and a document called Bloody Brazilian Knife Fightin’ Techniques.” He was also a member of a WhatsApp group with his family, where he stated that “the Islamic State is here to stay.”
5. Amman Discussed His Radical Beliefs With Girlfriend, Friends
The Independent also reported that during his trial, prosecutors explained how Amman had told his girlfriend and a friend “of his hatred for ‘kuffars’ (non-believers), his allegiance to Isis and his wish to carry out a terror attack.” According to this report, in one online exchange, he told his girlfriend that she should behead her own parents.