#AceNewsReport – Aug.21: Armed officers who had the attacker under surveillance gave chase within seconds, confronted and, as he turned towards them with the knife, shot him fatally. This all happened in just over 60 seconds….
#AceDailyNews reports on MET Statement following the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Sudesh Amman on the afternoon of 2 February 2020, two members of the public were stabbed in a terrorist attack on a busy south London high street.
“Today, the jury found that the attacker was lawfully killed. Her Majesty’s Coroner commended the armed surveillance officers for their bravery and putting themselves in harm’s way in order to keep the public safe.
“He noted that this was in stark contrast to the actions of Sudesh Amman who was prepared to risk his life in order to try to murder other people. The Coroner recognised that we owe the officers a considerable debt and extended gratitude to the investigative team who should be commended for discharging their duties to a high standard. I would like to thank the Coroner and the jury for their careful examination of this incident.
“Thankfully, most armed officers in the UK will never need to discharge their firearm in the course of their duties; let alone come face-to-face with somebody carrying out a terrorist attack in the way these officers did.
“They were extremely courageous in the way they pursued the armed attacker, and made sure he could not harm anyone else. This was another example of how our police officers confront danger to keep people safe.
“Police had serious concerns about the attacker’s extremist mind-set, and what he might do upon his release from prison. It was for this reason that he was monitored by an incredibly skilled and professional team, who were in the right place at the right time to quickly intervene in what could otherwise have been a murderous attack.
“Using lethal force is always a last resort, but as the court heard, in the circumstances of this particular case, once the attack started lethal force was the only way to stop it.
“This inquest has given a rare insight into how police work closely with the security services, the probation service and other partners to manage terrorist offenders released from prison.
“Police have brought increasing numbers of terrorist offenders to justice in recent years, and so the task of managing them upon their release has also grown.
“It is an incredibly challenging job which requires difficult decisions to be made, and we use a range of resources and measures to manage these individuals. However, we are always looking at ways to strengthen these processes, to ensure the public is kept safe from extremists.”
Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said:
“The armed surveillance officers who responded to this incident, and acted to draw the armed terrorist towards them to stop him attacking others, were incredibly brave. I am proud of them and would like to thank-them for their professionalism, courage and decisiveness in the most challenging of circumstances – fast moving, horrific and frightening. The attack happened on a busy high street, and quite simply their quick actions almost certainly saved lives.
“While there were fortunately no fatalities, we can’t forget that two people were seriously injured. One of them suffered life-changing injuries, and no doubt the events of that day will live with them for a long time. Our thoughts are with them.
“The police operation before and after the attack was challenging and involved hundreds of officers and staff from across the Met, and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of their efforts.
“I also want to praise the members of the public who did what they could to help those who were injured, and stayed with them until medical crews arrived. This display of humanity and compassion shows that London will always stand against terrorists and what they stand for.
“While we have foiled a number of planned terrorist attacks in recent years, unfortunately we won’t be able to stop every attack. But I want the public to know that we will continue to work around the clock, and with great determination, to deal with the terrorist threat.
“Terrorism remains a substantial threat across the UK, and we would therefore urge the public to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity or behaviour that might be linked to terrorism to police.”
BX87 is a police constable and a member of Team 3 in the Met’s Covert Policing Command MO3. He was involved in the surveillance of Sudesh Amman in south London in late January and early February 2020.
This is his description of the day Amman was shot, in his own words (in italics), edited from his evidence at the inquest.
On Saturday 1 February BX87 turned up for an early-morning briefing about the surveillance that weekend. He was told it would be armed surveillance.
“I’d dealt with a large number of surveillance operations up to that point and very few are armed, in my experience.
“It certainly raised my awareness about the operation.”
That weekend he was armed with a Glock 19 self-loading pistol and a Taser.
“I particularly remember that we were briefed that Mr Amman still possessed an extremist mindset and had attack aspirations. I was also made aware of some items that had been purchased by him in a previous deployment.”
Met Police: Amman was captured on CCTV buying aluminium foil, parcel tape and and bottles of Irn Bru in a Poundland store
These were aluminium foil, parcel tape and plastic drinks bottles, all of which had been used in the past to make hoax suicide belts.
He remembered how serious the officer giving the briefing was that day.
“He’s briefed me on quite a few occasions and he’s a funny guy, he normally makes us laugh. He’s usually got a very relaxed demeanour.
“On 1 February, he was different. He seemed quite concerned about the risk that Mr Amman posed, and this came across quite clearly in his demeanour to me personally.
“He said something along the lines of, ‘stay safe, stay safe, guys, I’ve got a funny feeling about this’.”
The Saturday surveillance was quite uneventful wit Amman just going out at lunchtime to buy chicken.
PA MediaAmman was placed in a bail hostel in Streatham after his release from prison
The next day, Sunday 2 February, BX87 was parked in a side road just up from Amman’s probation hostel when the radio crackled into life.
“I heard that Mr Amman had started walking northbound away from the approved premises and then shortly afterwards I heard he had started walking westbound in the general direction of Streatham High Road.
“I’d started moving west in my vehicle, essentially shadowing the movements of Mr Amman but in neighbouring roads rather than the ones he was travelling in.”
Amman was dressed in a camouflage hooded jacket and was carrying a JD Sports bag slung across his front.
BX87 was asked to get ahead and get down on foot on Streatham High Road. There he saw Amman arriving on the shopping street.
“He stopped at the junction. He was side on to me. I was looking south and he was looking directly at the road, which was west. He stopped and he looked up and down. He looked almost lost to me, to be honest. He looked up and down the road a few times and just paused there.
“And then after a short time he turned left and started walking away from me, which is southbound on Streatham High Road.”
PA Media: Surveillence teams put a plan in place to follow Amman wherever he went
BX87 handed over “control” of Amman to colleagues and took cover in a pub.
After a while he emerged and started following Amman north up Streatham High Road when another officer, BX75, informed him that Amman had turned round and was heading straight towards him.
“I then looked for somewhere to take cover. I didn’t meet Mr Amman face to face. I turned round and walked into Prentis Road, which was just a short distance behind me at that point.”
Another officer, BX89, said on the radio Amman had entered Low Price Store, a shop that sold knives among other things. BX113, who was running the operation, asked for an officer to go into the shop and see what was happening. BX87 volunteered.
“I got to within, I would say, 15m to 20m of the store at which point I heard what I would describe as a commotion coming from the entrance.
“Immediately after, I saw Mr Amman’s head above some of the items that were stacked outside the store. When I saw his head, he was in the process of running out of the store.
“I saw a really large knife in his right hand, which he had outstretched in front of him. I would describe the blade as a carving-type knife. The blade was 15cm to 20cm long.
“He didn’t look at me and he immediately just started sprinting in the opposite direction from me.
“Within a very short distance of him running, I saw the knife and then he approached a lady that was wearing a bright pink jacket.
“I’d then seen the blade of the knife again and I saw him plunge it into her upper back. I was sprinting at the same time and I was still about 15m to 20m behind Mr Amman at this point.
“I’d seen the size of the knife, the size of the blade, and he thrust it sort of towards her back and I remember seeing the blade disappear. It was my opinion that it would have caused probably a fatal injury.”
In fact the woman survived. So did a man who Amman stabbed a few moments later.
“He continued sprinting. I’d say I am quite a quick runner and I wasn’t closing the gap with him.
“He seemed to be running in between the pedestrians and at them rather than taking the least line of resistance, I guess, and it was my perception that he was going along stabbing everyone that he was close enough to as he ran.
“Immediately after he had stabbed the lady, I heard him shout really clearly ‘Allahu Akbar’. It was at this point really that it really dawned on me that this was a terror attack, essentially, and that he was looking to attack numerous people.
“I wanted to try and draw his attention towards me and away from the pedestrians walking. I continued shouting ‘Stop! Armed police!’ as loudly as I could, but was getting no reaction from Mr Amman. He just continued sprinting at very high speed.”
Met PoliceAmman was shot dead outside a Boots chemist store
BX87 continued to chase Amman, unaware that his colleague BX75 had joined him.
“I kept shouting ‘Stop! Armed police!’ And then Mr Amman stopped, he turned round, and as he did I remember my momentum carrying me forwards towards him. And it was at that point that my focus went straight in on the knife.
“Simultaneously, at this point, I drew my firearm.
“I saw the knife, he was holding it in his right hand, it was away from his side and it was stretched out in front of his body. The blade was pointing towards me. As I tried to slow myself I just remember my vision, it was almost like a cartoon, the blade of the knife almost doubled in size, it was a strange feeling.
“I saw Mr Amman take a number of paces towards me, closing the gap further. It really dawned on me at this point that I was potentially going to get stabbed.
“I thought he was going to stab me or attack me, essentially, try and kill me.
“I fired a shot at him, aiming at his central body mass which is the main torso.
“I was shouting, ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ constantly.
“I can’t remember specifically at the time firing three shots. I knew that it was more than one and my training is such that we fire only as many shots as are necessary until we see a positive reaction.
Met Police Amman was wearing a fake suicide bomb belt
“He fell with his feet facing the shop, which I now know is Boots. He was partially on his side and partially on his back, but I remember his right hand being outstretched towards me and the knife was still in his hands while he was on the floor initially.
“I continued shouting ‘Drop the knife, drop the knife!” and almost immediately afterwards I could see daylight between his hand and the knife so it appeared that he had released the knife. I then immediately stepped in and kicked the knife away, with the intention of giving him first aid.
“As I stepped in and kicked the knife away, at exactly the same time I then heard who I now know was BX75 shout ‘A device! A device!’, and at the same time I saw that Mr Amman had what I believed to be an explosive vest strapped to his chest.
“I saw two or three dull-coloured cylinder-shaped objects, which were strapped to him by some sort of black strapping which I couldn’t describe. I just saw it just for a split second.
“I thought it was an explosive device. I immediately retracted because I thought I was essentially going to get blown up by whatever it was.”
Their pistols still drawn, BX87 and BX75 started to clear the immediate area, as colleagues arrived to help them.
The inquest into Amman’s death at the Royal Courts of Justice concluded that the 20-year-old had been lawfully killed.
#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.21: 2021:
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