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London attacker served prison term for terrorism offenses, police say

Published: Updated:

A man shot dead after stabbing two people on a busy street in south London on Sunday in what police described as a terrorist incident is Sudesh Amman, a former convict who was recently released from prison.

Amman, 20, who was jailed in 2018 for “Islamist-related terrorism offenses,” was being tracked by police on foot at the time of attack, which sent people running into nearby shops and emergency services racing to the scene.

One man who had been treated for life-threatening injuries after being stabbed is no longer in a critical condition, while a woman who suffered less serious wounds had been discharged from hospital, police said.

Another woman, hurt by glass after an officer fired his weapon, was still being treated in hospital, said Lucy D’Orsi, deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police.

Some witnesses said the man had been armed with a machete and one said he was wearing silver canisters strapped to his chest. Police later said the device was a hoax.

Footing filmed on the main street in the Streatham district of south London showed two men in plain clothes – one in a hoodie and one wearing a police baseball cap – pointing their guns at a body on the pavement nearby.

“The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related,” said D’Orsi.

She said Amman was shot dead by armed officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation.

Police said it was an isolated incident and the situation had been contained.

Chris Wells was in a shop in Streatham with his daughter when they heard three gunshots outside.

“People just came running in screaming and upset, shouting about a gun. We ran to the back of the shop and were locked in,” he told Reuters.

“We tried to leave to get away and I saw a man in a hoodie with a gun, which I now know was a plain clothes officer,” he said. “And another officer shouted at us to get back inside because there was a bomb threat.”