LONDON (AP) — A man recently released from prison after serving time for terrorism-related offences strapped on a fake bomb and stabbed two people on a busy London street on Sunday before being shot to death by police, officials said.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said police identified the attacker as 20-year-old Sudesh Amman.
He had been convicted for publishing graphic terrorist videos online and had stockpiled instructions on bomb making and knife attacks, according to police. Officers had been trailing Amman at the time of Sunday’s attack, D’Orsi said, but were unable to head off the bloodshed in the commercial and residential south London neighbourhood of Streatham, where Amman struck outside a major pharmacy on a busy shopping afternoon.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said measures were introduced yesterday to bring “fundamental” change to the way people convicted of terrorism offences are handled in prison and afterward.
“The suspect had been recently released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for extremist-related terrorism offences,” D’Orsi said of Sunday’s attacker. It seems likely the victims will survive Sunday’s attack.
D’Orsi said a stabbing victim in his 40s thought to be in life-threatening condition has improved. She said the victim is no longer in danger and that a woman who had been hospitalised has been released. One other female victim is still in the hospital with lesser injuries police believe were caused by flying glass after the attacker was shot dead.
D’Orsi said the incident started at 2pm. “Armed officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism operation and were following the suspect on foot, were in immediate attendance and shot a male suspect dead at the scene,” she said. She said police saw a device strapped to the attacker’s body and called in specialist officers who quickly determined the purported explosive device was a hoax.