20 August 2021

Timeline of terror: Sudesh Amman’s 10 days between prison release and tragedy

20 August 2021

Here is a timeline in the case of Sudesh Amman, the convicted terrorist who stabbed and injured two people in Streatham High Road in February 2020.

– January 23 2020

Sudesh Amman, a 20-year-old from Harrow in north-west London, is automatically released from Belmarsh prison, having been handed a 40-month sentence for 13 counts of obtaining and distributing material used for terrorist purposes. He is released to a probation hostel in Streatham, south London, despite pleas from police and MI5 to keep him in custody for longer due to his extremist views.

Sudesh Amman’s probation hostel in Streatham, south London (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

– January 24

Amman, who is originally from Coventry, is placed under daytime surveillance by plain clothes officers.

– January 29

A decision is made to allow those surveillance officers to carry firearms.

The Low Price Store in Streatham High Road where Sudesh Amman stole a knife, having visited it days earlier (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

– January 30

Amman’s covert surveillance is relaxed slightly, meaning there would be no coverage between 6am and 10am due to intelligence about Amman’s lack of movement at this time of the day.

– January 31

Amman is seen looking at knives in a shop and buying items from Poundland that police – presciently – fear could be used to create a hoax suicide belt. These items include a parcel tape, aluminium foil and four 250ml bottles of Irn-Bru soft drink. It is then decided to put Amman under 24-hour surveillance rather than to arrest him and blow the cover of the covert operation.

Sudesh Amman at the till in Poundland in Streatham on January 31 2020 (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

– February 1

Amman is placed on “round-the-clock” – i.e. 24-hour – surveillance. This includes armed covert police, as well as uniformed officers nearby. He leaves his flat just once, for around 22 minutes at lunchtime, to go to a nearby takeaway for a chicken meal.

– February 2

1.22pm – Amman leaves his approved premises, the probation hostel, in Leigham Court Road.

Sudesh Amman leaving his probation hostel in Leigham Court Road, Streatham (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

1.50pm – Amman is seen in Streatham High Road. He is said to be walking “very slowly”, appearing lost, and changing direction at various times.

1.57pm – The 20-year-old enters a shop called Low Price Store. He is inside for barely a minute, and emerges with a knife which he has stolen. He is pursued by undercover police. Amman stabs two people, a man and a woman. Both survive.

Sudesh Amman, running north along Streatham High Road, suddenly turns to charge at undercover police (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

1.58pm – Amman, reaching Boots, turns to face the officers. They shoot at him, with at least two shots hitting him. A total of 62 seconds after running from the shop, Amman falls to the ground.

2.40pm – A police explosives expert arrives on the scene to check and carefully remove the device around Amman’s waist. It contains three bottles, wrapped in tin foil and attached to a belt with brown tape. It is later identified as a hoax.

Items left on the pavement at the scene in Streatham High Road, south London (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)

3.24pm – Amman is pronounced dead by a paramedic.

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