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Streatham terror attacker spent mother’s £20 on fake suicide belt, inquest hears

Written by on 06/08/2021

A terrorist who stabbed two people in a busy shopping street in London used a £20 note his mother had given him to pay for the items he used in his fake suicide vest, an inquest was told.

Sudesh Amman texted his mother on the day of the attack to tell her: “Allah loves you.”

Amman, 20, from Queensbury, north London, grabbed a 20cm carving knife from a shop and stabbed two passers-by in Streatham High Road on 2 February, last year.

Amman was wearing a fake suicide vest make of Iron Bru bottles, foil and packing tape. Pic: Gardham/Met Police
Image: Amman was wearing a fake suicide vest made of Iron Bru bottles, foil and packing tape. Pic: Met Police

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

Amman had been released from Belmarsh jail on 23 January 2020, part-way through a 40-month sentence for obtaining and distributing material for terrorist purposes.

Appearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, his mother Haleema Khan described the moment she realised he had been shot dead after seeing photographs in an online article showing his shoes and jacket which she had bought for him.

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Mrs Khan saw her son for the last time on Thursday 30 January, eight days after his release from prison, and as she said goodbye to her son for what would turn out to be the last time, she gave him a £20 note.

That day Amman was observed entering a Poundland shop and buying four bottles of Iron Bru, a roll of Bacofoil and some brown parcel tape using £20 in cash.

Amman launched his attack at 1.58pm, less than half an hour after he last spoke to his mother, the inquest was told.

He asked his mother if she had prayed that morning and told her he loved her. “He said ‘bye, bye, I love you Mummy’,” she added. “That was the last time I spoke to Sudesh.”

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

Earlier, a lawyer for Amman’s family called the operation a “miserable failure” and questioned why he was not arrested earlier.

Rajiv Menon QC told the senior investigating officer in the case the terrorist convict could have been arrested if they had searched his room in a probation hostel and found his fake suicide vest.

The officer, a detective superintendent in Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terrorism Command, has been granted anonymity and was referred to only as HA6.

“We had a well-thought-out plan to manage the risk,” HA6 said.

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

But Mr Menon said the plan was a “miserable failure” adding: “Two people were stabbed and he was shot and killed.”

“Given the risk and threat and the methodology that this man represented and the manner of this attack, the police intervened extremely quickly to prevent something that could have been a lot worse or happened at a later date,” HA6 added.

Had Amman been arrested too early, he would have been released on bail and would then have been aware of the covert surveillance operation, making him more difficult to observe, the officer said.

The inquest continues.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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