The Islamic State claimed responsibility Monday for a terror attack on a London street that left three people injured as the British government began an effort to keep convicted terrorists in prison.
Sudesh Amman, 20, had a fake bomb strapped to his chest when he stabbed two people Sunday in the south London neighborhood of Streatham, police said. Amman had been released from prison days earlier after serving about half of a three-year sentence for promoting terrorism.
Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said counterterrorism officers who had been monitoring Amman’s activities shot him dead.
“We are confident that this is an isolated incident that has been contained,” D’Orsi said. “Officers from our Counter Terrorism Command are investigating.”
The attack came two months after an officer shot and killed a man wearing a fake explosive device during a knife attack near London Bridge that left two people dead and three wounded. That attacker also had recently been released after serving time for terror-related crimes.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed concern Monday over releasing people convicted of terrorism offenses. More than 70 are already free on London streets and an additional 200 are awaiting release, he said.
“Something is clearly going seriously wrong,” Khan tweeted. “The government has serious questions to answer.”
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said Monday that he will introduce emergency legislation to ensure “an end to terrorist offenders getting released automatically, having served half of their sentence with no check or review.”
Any releases before the end of their sentence will be dependent on risk assessment by the Parole Board, Buckland said. The law will be retroactive for inmates already sentenced, he said.
“We face an unprecedented situation of severe gravity and, as such, it demands that the government responds immediately,” he said. “This legislation will therefore also apply to serving prisoners.”
D’Orsi said searches related to the Amman investigation were conducted in at least two residences Monday. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, appeared to claim Amman was inspired by the group’s cause, saying the incident was “in response to calls to attack the citizens of coalition countries” combating ISIS across Syria and Iraq.
“He became more religious inside prison, that’s where I think he became radicalized,” she said. “He was watching and listening to things online which brainwashed him.”
Amman’s dark history included attempts to persuade his girlfriend to behead her parents, the BBC reported. Amman told her he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and wished to carry out acid attacks. In a notebook seized from his residence, Amman had written notes on his “goals in life,” which included dying as a martyr and going to paradise.
D’Orsi said a man in his 40s who suffered what were initially considered to be in a life-threatening injuries is now out of danger. A woman in her 50s has been treated at a hospital and released.
Another woman in her 20s suffered minor injuries believed to have been caused by glass following the discharge of the police firearm, D’Orsi said.
“Public safety is obviously our top priority, and to reassure the public we will be enhancing police patrols in the area,” she said.