The investigation into the terrorist attack on Streatham High Road yesterday, Sunday, 2 February, continues at pace and we are today able to provide more detail on the circumstances.
At approximately 14.00hrs on 2 February, two people were stabbed in Streatham High Road, Lambeth by a man who was under investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
This man has now been formally identified as Sudesh Amman, 20, of London.
Armed officers, who were part of a proactive counter-terrorism surveillance operation relating to the attacker, were following him as he left an address in the Streatham area at shortly after 13:20hrs.
He then made his way on foot and was observed entering a shop on Streatham High Road shortly before 14:00hrs.
From initial witness statements we understand that he stole a knife and ran from the shop as he was pursued by a member of staff.
As he ran from the shop, he removed packaging from the knife, and once outside attacked two members of public.
The time from him entering the shop to beginning his attack outside was approximately 60 seconds. Police officers responded, fatally shooting him within approximately 60 seconds of him beginning to attack people.
The officers saw that a device was strapped to his body and called in specialist explosives officers and additional armed officers to deal with the potential threat the device posed.
Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device.
The device had been concealed under his clothes.
Initial first aid was provided to victims by our officers. London Ambulance Service carried out their treatment once they were able to do so safely. Three people were taken by ambulance to south London hospitals.
One man, who is in his 40s, was initially considered to be in a life-threatening condition. However, following his treatment at hospital, he remains in a serious but stable condition.
One woman in her 50s had non-life threatening injuries and has been discharged from hospital.
Another woman in her 20s had minor injuries, believed to have been caused by glass following the discharge of a police firearm. She has also been discharged from hospital.
Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families.
The attacker had been recently released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for terrorism offences.
The circumstances of that investigation are as follows:
At around 00:10hrs on 18 May 2018, Met Counter Terrorism Command detectives, assisted by the Met Police Specialist Firearms Command, arrested him – then aged 18 – on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. He was arrested on a street in north London, within 24 hours of police launching an investigation into his activities.
Further quick-time investigation was carried out and digital forensic specialists analysed his mobile phone, laptop and other digital devices, recovering a plethora of terrorist material.
The police consulted the Crown Prosecution Service, and he was subsequently charged on 24 May 2018 with nine offences of dissemination of terrorist material and seven offences of collection of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, in relation to the material found on his digital devices.
On 7 November 2018 he pleaded guilty to 13 of these counts and the judge ordered that the remaining three counts lie on file.
On 17 December 2018 he was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.
On 23 January 2020, he was released from prison.
An operation was launched which included armed surveillance officers. Revealing details of this surveillance operation could undermine police tactics used to investigate terrorists and other criminals across the UK, so it is right that we do not expand on this further at this time.
We are confident that this is an isolated incident that has been contained.
Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command continue to carry out fast-time enquiries into the circumstances of the attack. We have identified around 50 witnesses from whom we are gathering statements, and we have recovered and are trawling hours of CCTV footage.
A search warrant was carried out at an address in Bishop Stortford and another address in Streatham is still being searched. No arrests have been made.
We are also liaising and co-operating with the Independent Office for Police Conduct as they conduct their necessary inquiries.
Streatham High Road remains closed at this time, and cordons are in place. We will reopen these as soon as we can, however we do expect some areas to remain closed to the public until later tonight or on Tuesday morning.
We would like to thank the numerous members of the public who assisted officers and ambulance staff following what was a very difficult incident, and for the ongoing patience of the community while police enquiries continue in the area.
Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call police, in confidence, on 0800 789 321. In an emergency call 999. I would also ask the public to continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns they have to police.
We ask anyone with information, images or footage of the incident that this be shared with our investigation team. Image and video can be shared via the UK Police Image appeal website at www.ukpoliceimageappeal.com.
Those affected by the incident – even if they were not at the scene of it – are encouraged to seek support. Details of a range of emotional and practical support services are available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/helplines-and-support-victims-of-terrorist-attacks/helplines-and-support-victims-of-terrorist-attacks
We continue to reiterate our earlier pleas for common sense and restraint in circulating pictures and videos of this incident – including images of the officers involved and of the victims.