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Streatham terror attacker boasted about wanting to kill the Queen

Written by on 03/08/2021

A terrorist convict who launched an attack 10 days after his release from prison had boasted in jail of his intention to join ISIS and kill the Queen, an inquest has heard.

Sudesh Amman, 20, from Queensbury, North London, was under surveillance when he grabbed a 20cm carving knife from a shop and stabbed two passers-by in Streatham High Road in February last year.

He was shot dead by armed covert surveillance officers who chased him down the street, 62 seconds after the attack began.

Amman had pleaded guilty in November 2018 to 13 offences of obtaining and distributing material that could be used for terrorist purposes and was jailed for three years and four months.

Sudesh Amman before the attack. Pic: Gardham/Met Police
Image: Sudesh Amman before the attack. Pic: Met Police

The inquest into his death heard that Amman was mixing with fellow terrorist prisoners during his time in jail including Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, who helped build the bomb that killed 22 people.

After his arrest and remand to Belmarsh, he wrote a letter to his family on 28 June, saying: “Fear no one but Allah and keep smiling even in the hardest of times, that is what strikes fear in their hearts.

“They ask why we smile, if only they knew the real reason. Allahu Akbar [God is great]. Never wake up a sleeping lion… it’s the last day.”

More on Streatham Terror Attack

According to a prison intelligence report, at the end of a conversation with his mother, he became angry and agitated, accusing her of being a “snitch” and saying he hoped she had all her other children taken off her.

He added: “Just you watch, I’m going to do something to these govs here”, referring to prison officers.

Prison intelligence from 24 July suggested Amman had been “shouting different things on the wing” including: “This place is full of unbelievers, everyone here will come under the black flag” and letting everyone know he is in for terrorism.

On 29 July he was seen on CCTV fighting with other prisoners on the House Block 2 exercise yard and placed on a “basic regime” in which all his privileges, such as access to TV, were withdrawn.

In a confrontation with a female prison officer on 2 September, he told her: “F*** off you stupid b****” and yelled “Allahu Akbar” [God is great] as he started smashing up his cell.

Amman was noted making “inappropriate comments” to the effect that the murder of Lee Rigby was justified on 22 September, and on 27 September asked two fellow prisoners to make a weapon and beat up another prisoner.

On 2 October, officers noted that Amman had a “strong loathing towards non-Muslims” and his views may include a decision to commit an act of extremist-related violence.

Sudesh Amman seen on CCTV from inside a shop in Streatham
Image: Sudesh Amman seen on CCTV from inside a shop in Streatham

It added that he had a “strong desire to go to the afterlife” and “openly shared extremist views and a desire to kill the Queen, become a suicide bomber and join ISIS.”

Amman was relocated to the High Security Unit, used to separate up to 12 prisoners from the main population of around 910, because he had an “extremist mindset and capacity to radicalise others.”

But even there, he was said to have been teaming up with another prisoner on 24 October to make an improvised weapon and assault a random prison officer.

Sudesh Amman ran down Streatham High Road. Credit: Gardham/Met Police
Image: Sudesh Amman ran down Streatham High Road. Pic: Met Police

His move to the unit was said to have had a “detrimental effect on the other Muslims on that spur.”

During a prison visit by his mother, she was said to have become “quite upset” and seemed to be “constantly apologising” to him.

In another telephone conversation with his mother on 30 January 2019, Amman told her: “I am a terrorist, I am in prison for terrorism.”

When she told him that another individual said he was a good person, Amman responded: “I was a bad person, I am not going to lie to you, I still am a bad person but Allah will forgive me you know.”

Amman also wrote to his mother: “Why do I keep smiling? I never used to smile. Wallahi [I swear] it makes me tear up when I go to jummah prayers with all the brothers.

“It is such a beautiful experience, it’s a blessing, you don’t understand. I have never felt this amount of happiness in any mosque, hugging and salaaming [greeting] the brothers.”

He also told mother he wanted the death penalty as “death is good in Islam”.

 Police officers conducted a finger-tip search at the scene following the terror attack in Streatham High Road, south London.
Image: Police conducted a fingertip search at the scene following the terror attack on Streatham High Road

Jenny Louis, the governor at Belmarsh, agreed there were a “number of reports that he was domineering and overbearing to his mother.”

In a letter to his friend, Rezwan Khan, Amman told him he was going to the gym four times a week to “bulk up” and referred to himself as a “wild tiger who doesn’t obey the law.”

Mr Hough said Amman appeared to have a “substantial ego” and Ms Louis said: “From number of monitoring sources we able to see that and from some to the comments he has made.”

By November 2019, reports from inside prison suggested that Amman had a position of influence within the jail, leading prayers and that he had “bulked up” recently.

Sudesh Amman was released from high-security Belmarsh Prison in southeast London a week before the attack
Image: Sudesh Amman was released from high-security Belmarsh Prison in southeast London a week before the attack

Mr Hough said that was “quite concerning given other reporting that maintains he has extreme views and his impending release in two months.”

A search of his cell in December 2016 revealed a note pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS that read: “I announce my allegiance to Ameer Mumineen [Commander of the Faithful] leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against and not to dispute with those in power.”

A combat knife was recovered from Amman's home after he was arrested in 2018
Image: A combat knife was recovered from Amman’s home after he was arrested in 2018

Amman was the subject of two reports by a prison psychologist in July 2019 and January 2020 which found that Amman continued to hold extremist views and there was a “risk of him committing an attack, especially an attack with knives.”

A separate offender assessment found there was a “high risk of serious harm to members of the public due to his promoting of extremist ideas.”

Even before his release, he was subject to the highest level of MAPPA public protection arrangements by the probation service, the inquest was told.

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Eight days before his release, Detective Chief Superintendent Alexis Boon wrote to the prison governor expressing concerns about Amman’s release and asking whether he could be charged with a disciplinary offence after jumping on netting between prison floors as part of a protest over a death in custody.

In the letter, Mr Boon wrote: “This letter is to respectfully request your decision not to proceed with the prison adjudication for the offence is reconsidered.”

The letter added: “Mr Amman poses a significant risk to the public on his release on licence.

“I would respectfully ask you to consider based on the incident of 3 January, if there are any additional measures that could be imposed to delay release.”

Amman was arrested in May 2018 after posting a YouTube link to a pro-gay rights advocate at Speaker’s Corner to a Telegram chat group, saying: “Guys in the UK, this should be our target… all united together for an attack at Hyde Park.”

He had hand-written instructions for making plastic explosives from bleach and a detonator and a notebook with his “goals for life” which included “paradise” and “jihad”, the jury heard.

 Sky News

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