Streatham knife attacker shot dead by police was convicted terrorist with 'life goal' of 'dying a martyr'

Sudesh Amman is understood to be the man shot dead by armed police in Streatham High Road, south London, on Sunday. (PA)

The convicted terrorist shot dead by police after a stabbing attack in south London had a “life goal” of “dying a martyr”.

Sudesh Amman, 20, who had recently been released from prison, stabbed people in Streatham on Sunday in what police are calling an “Islamist-related terror incident”.

Amman, who had been jailed for possessing and distributing terrorist documents in December 2018, was freed about a week ago.

Three people were injured in the attack on Streatham High Road on Sunday afternoon. A device found strapped to Amman’s body was a hoax, the Metropolitan Police said.

Amman served half his sentence after being jailed for three years and four months for terror offences in December 2018, when he was 18.

Police on the scene on Streatham High Road following the knife attack. (SWNS)
Clothing and used medical supplies litter the scene after the attack. (SWNS)

The Old Bailey heard that one of Amman’s life goals was to die a martyr.

Police found a notepad in the North West London College student’s home in Harrow, in which the phrase “life goals” had been scrawled.

“Top of the list, above family activities, was dying a martyr and going to ‘Jannah’ – the afterlife,” Alexis Boon, then head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said after Amman was jailed.

He said Amman had a “fierce interest in violence and martyrdom” and that he was fascinated with dying “in the name of terrorism”.

Amman, an Isis supporter, had posted al-Qaeda propaganda on a family WhatsApp group, exposing siblings as young as 11 to graphic material, and had shared bomb-making literature via Skype chat.

He had told his girlfriend of his wish to carry out acid attacks and that he preferred the idea of a knife attack over using bombs.

On Monday, Isis claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Streatham.

Without giving evidence, the group’s Amaq news agency said: “The perpetrator of the attack in Streatham district in south London yesterday is a fighter of Islamic State, and carried out the attack in response to calls to attack the citizens of coalition countries.”

Scotland Yard said armed officers had been following the suspect on foot as part of a "proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation" on Streatham High Road.

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The Metropolitan Police said: "The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related."

Three victims were taken by ambulance to south London hospitals.

One man in his 40s is no longer considered to be in a life-threatening condition following treatment, police said.

A woman in her 50s who had non-life threatening injuries has been discharged from hospital.

Police said a second woman in her 20s, who received minor injuries believed to have been caused by glass following the discharge of a police firearm, continues to receive treatment.

An armed police officer at the scene. (Getty)
Police forensics officers at the scene. (PA/Getty)
Police are treating the incident in Streatham as a terrorist attack. (SWNS)

The London Ambulance Service has defended its staff after a witness tweeted that he had to stay with someone who had been stabbed for 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

A video posted on Twitter showed a police officer trying to evacuate a Streatham cafe only to be told by a member of staff to “give us half an hour”.

In the video, posted by user @The_Write_Type, the female member of staff replies to the officer’s request by saying: “Just give us half an hour, people just have to eat.”

The officer then responds: “Madam, a terrorist has been shot dead just down there. They’ve got a possible IED vest on them, which is a bomb.

“If you want to stay open for half an hour and you want to put people’s lives in danger then be my guest.

“If not, please listen to me and please make your way out of the shop, turning that way and making your way from the area.”

The incident follows last November’s stabbing at Fishmongers’ Hall at London Bridge, in which convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two people before being shot dead by police. He had been released from prison on licence a year earlier.

Police forensics officers at the scene of the stabbing in Streatham. (PA/Getty)
Police forensic officers at the scene in Streatham. (PA/Getty)

Boris Johnson said he will announce plans on Monday for "fundamental changes to the system for dealing with those convicted of terrorism offences" following the attack.

He added: "Following the awful events at Fishmongers' Hall in December, we have moved quickly to introduce a package of measures to strengthen every element of our response to terrorism – including longer prison sentences and more money for the police."