Video report by ITV News Correspondent John Ray
The Streatham terror attack may have been prevented had perpetrator Sudesh Amman been recalled to prison after buying items used in his fake suicide belt, jurors at the Royal Courts of Justice inquest into his death have concluded.
Amman was seen buying four small bottles of Irn Bru, parcel tape and tin foil - items that could be used to make a suicide belt - by undercover officers on January 31, last year, just days before the attack, but HM Prison and Probation Service decided not to recall him to prison.Amman carried out an attack in south London in February last year, stabbing two people, before being shot by undercover surveillance officers.
The inquest jury also found Amman was lawfully killed by the officers, who were monitoring his activities.
Amman was born on December 27, 1999 in Coventry, and was the oldest of six boys of Sri Lankan descent.
Little is known about Amman’s path to radicalisation – although he was said to have been traumatised by witnessing the decapitation of human bodies during a holiday to Sri Lanka aged 15.
He was convicted in 2018 of 13 counts of collecting material useful for terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications.
He was released on January 23, 2020 despite concerns from the police and MI5 that he retained his extremist mindset, reportedly saying he was “proud” of being the youngest terrorist offender in Belmarsh.
But just days before he struck, he claimed to have changed his ways, telling a mentor he “now realised” those who committed terrorist acts ended up “pushing people away” from Islam.
The 20-year-old then went on a 62-second stabbing rampage after stealing a knife from a shop on Streatham High Road in south London and stabbing two members of the public at random. They both survived.
The inquest heard Amman was shot at six times after lunging at officers at the end of his stabbing spree, with between two and four bullets hitting him.
Attention was drawn to the bravery of officers BX75 and BX87, who fired the fatal shots, then contained the situation despite knowing about the presence of a potential bomb, after discovering the hoax belt.
Amman was declared dead 90 minutes later at 3.24pm.
His inquest heard he expressed a desire to kill the Queen, and remarked his wish to have been involved in the 2013 murder of fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon says the police had fears over Amman prior to the attack
Amman was thrown out of school several times for fighting and poor behaviour before being arrested in 2018 on suspicion of terror offences.
Searches of his hard drive revealed a folder entitled “Chemistry”, including videos and instruction manuals concerning use of weapons.
Another instruction manual was labelled “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mum”.
His mother, Haleema Khan, recalled how she spoke with her son on the phone less than 30 minutes before the atrocity, as he made his way to Streatham High Road, during which he ended their conversation with “Bye bye, I love you mummy”.
She said she had no reason to suspect her son – who had a long history of extremism, was prone to bouts of anger, and repeatedly asked if she had said her prayers – would carry out such an attack.
“I didn’t think he was going to do these things,” she said.