An Islamic terrorist who had recently been let out of prison went right back to his violent ways on Sunday, strapping a fake bomb to himself and stabbing two people in London before being killed by police. According to a statement from Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, the assailant is a 20-year-old man named Sudesh Amman, and he was under police surveillance at the time of the attack. We’ll leave it to readers to decide if the kind of “surveillance” that allows a suspect to perform attempted murder on a busy city street is worth anything.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quick to denounce the attack and acknowledge that more needed to be done to keep those with terrorist connections and sympathies behind bars. He called for “fundamental” changes made to how terrorism-related offenses are handled in the UK.
D’Orisi admitted that “the suspect had been recently released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for Islamist-related terrorism offences.”
According to The Guardian, “recently released” doesn’t quite say it:
Sudesh Amman, from Harrow in north-west London, was jailed in December 2018 after admitting to 13 counts of expressing his support for Islamist terrorism and possessing and sharing Islamic State and al-Qaida propaganda in a family WhatsApp group and on social media. He was 18 at the time.
Amman had come to police attention in April of that year for posting extremist material and was arrested a month later. He expressed support for Isis and sent beheading videos to his girlfriend, advising her to kill her “kuffar” (unbelieving) parents.
He also wrote about the desirability of conducting a terror attack: “If you can’t make a bomb because family, friends or spies are watching or suspecting you, take a knife, molotov, sound bombs or a car at night and attack.”
Amman’s jailing for three years and four months was a fixed-term sentence and, in common with other terrorism offenders, Amman served half of it, taking into account time he had spent on remand before the trial.
He was released in January, but considered a sufficient threat to the public that he was released on what Whitehall sources said were “very stringent” licensing conditions, including a nighttime curfew plus active surveillance by undercover police.
It is perhaps a bit of twisted serendipity that this story emerged just as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed credit for the December terrorist attack in Pensacola, Florida. We’ve let out guard down in recent months about the threat of Western terrorist attacks, and it’s time for all governments to wake up and remember that this persistent evil is as viable as it ever was. Let us never forget our true enemies – always plotting, always waiting for their opportunity.
As long as this sick ideology/religion remains persuasive, we will not be rid of the threat.