British police on Sunday shot dead a man in London wearing a “hoax device” and suspected of stabbing two people, leaving one of them with life-threatening injuries, in an incident. The man named Sudesh Amman, left prison only days ago and had previously been noted by police as having a “fascination with dying in the name of terrorism”, according to The Guardian.
The Metropolitan Police said armed officers responded immediately “as part of a proactive counter-terrorism operation” when they shot the attacker, who was declared dead at the scene, a busy south London street.
An eye-witness described seeing a man “with a machete and silver canisters on his chest” fleeing from police before they opened fire. Sunday’s events in Streatham, a largely residential neighbourhood in the capital, came just over two months after a convicted terrorist, Usman Khan, on early release from prison was shot dead by police on London Bridge after he stabbed two people to death.
The Guardian reports, Amman was jailed when he was 18 in December 2018, and was released after serving part of his three years and four-month sentence, but was deemed sufficiently high risk that he was under special monitoring by police.
The government responded by announcing longer sentences for terrorism offences, an end to early release and an increase in the counter-terrorism police budget in the coming financial year. The latest attack unfolded at around 2:00 pm (1400 GMT) on Streatham High Road, a busy thoroughfare lined with shops. The Met said a device was found strapped to the suspect’s body and after cordons were put in place, “it was quickly established that this was a hoax device”.
Three victims were taken to local hospitals, with one man’s condition “life-threatening” and a woman described as receiving non-life threatening injuries. A second woman received minor injuries, believed to have been caused by glass following the discharge of the police firearm.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the emergency services for their response. “My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected,” he said. London Mayor Sadiq Khan added: “Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life, here in London we will never let them succeed.”
Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related. My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 2, 2020
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 2, 2020
The Metropolitan Police in its statement said, “The situation has been contained and officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading an investigation into the incident. The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related.”