A convicted terrorist told a mentor he had changed his ways, three days before going on a high street knife rampage which ended in him being shot dead by police, an inquest heard
Sudesh Amman, 20, confided how he “now realised” that those who committed terrorist acts ended up “pushing people away” from Islam
Amman made the comments on January 30 2020, three days before he stole a knife and ran down Streatham High Road stabbing randomly at members of the public before being shot dead by police.
The mentor, who was referred to as Witness M for legal reasons, described his “disbelief” after seeing reports of the attack on the news as it unfolded.
An inquest into Amman’s death at the Royal Courts of Justice heard Amman had been provided with support from both a practical and a theological mentor, both of whom had met with him following his release from prison earlier in January.
A report prepared by Witness M following the meeting on January 30 described how Amman had seemed “more relaxed in himself” and “happy” to discuss religion with others.
“You said you were baptised.
“He (Amman) asked what you thought would happen to you when you died, you said you hadn’t thought about it, and he said: ‘you should’.
“The mentor asked Sudesh Amman if he was happy to have a debate with people of different faiths. He said he was.
“He said he now realised that people who hurt other people through things like acts of terror were pushing people away from the faith and causing hatred.”
Giving evidence to the inquest on Wednesday, Witness M said of Amman during the final meeting: “He was the most relaxed that I’d seen him.
“He was happy to talk, he had no moments where he held back from saying anything and he seemed happy and relieved at being released.
“I took him at his word. He seemed sincere the way he was saying it.”
Asked by Mr Hough if Amman had been “plausible,” witness M replied: “Yes I believe he was.”
He added that he did not feel the need to report any behaviour of concern about Amman but had later felt “shocked” after reports of the attack emerged.
“I just felt – I did feel shocked.
“I saw when it said the incident was in Streatham I knew I visited him, I hoped it wasn’t (him).
“I kept watching the news and I had a little bit of disbelief, to be honest.”
Amman was automatically released from Belmarsh prison on January 23, part-way through his 40-month sentence for preparing and engaging in acts of terrorism.
The inquest previously heard how prison intelligence suggested he had made threats to kill the Queen, to commit a terrorist act, and radicalise others.
The inquest continues.