ISIS claims responsibility for south London attack - Amaq news agency

Amman attacked three people, critically injuring one, before police shot him dead in south London on Sunday.

A police officer is seen near a site where a man was shot by armed officers in Streatham, south London, Britain, February 2, 2020. (photo credit: ANTONIO BRONIC/ REUTERS)
A police officer is seen near a site where a man was shot by armed officers in Streatham, south London, Britain, February 2, 2020.
A man who was shot dead by police after stabbing two people on a busy street in south London on Sunday was identified as Sudesh Amman, a former convict who was recently released after serving a prison sentence for terrorist offenses, a European counter-terrorism official said.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack in south London, without giving evidence, the group's Amaq news agency said on Monday.
"The perpetrator of the attack in Streatham district in south London yesterday is a fighter of Islamic State, and carried out the attack in response to calls to attack the citizens of coalition countries," a statement carried by Amaq said.
Amman was jailed at age 18 in 2018 after he admitted 13 terror offenses including disseminating terrorist material and collecting information useful for terror attacks, the European counter-terrorism official told Reuters.
British police said on Sunday an attack in south London was believed to be Islamist-related and that officers had found a hoax device strapped to the man they shot dead.
"A device was found strapped to the body of the suspect and specialist officers attended. Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device," said Lucy D'Orsi, deputy assistance commissioner in the Metropolitan Police.
Some witnesses said Amman had been armed with a machete. One described him as wearing silver canisters on his chest.
"The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related," D'Orsi said in a statement.
Police shot Amman dead on a busy south London street on Sunday after three people were wounded, one critically, in a stabbing attack that police called terrorism-related.
The London ambulance service said three people were wounded and had been taken to hospital after the attack in Streatham, a residential district south of the River Thames. It was not clear if all three suffered stab wounds.
Police said the scene of the incident was now fully contained. "The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related," the police said on Twitter.
They said one of the wounded was in a life-threatening condition.
Sky News quoted Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from Streatham, as saying he witnessed the shooting in front of a shop.
"I was crossing the road when I saw a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer - as they were in civilian clothing," Bulhan said.
"The man was then shot. I think I heard three gunshots but I can't quite remember."
In one video of the scene posted on Twitter, but not verified by Reuters, a man can be seen lying on the street while at least two armed police officers point their guns from behind an unmarked car with its blue lights flashing.
At least one helicopter flew overhead and police cars were in surrounding streets, with the area blocked off by tape.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: "Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related."
"My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected," he said.
The last such incident in London was in November, when police shot dead a man wearing a fake suicide vest who stabbed two people to death and wounded three more before being wrestled to the ground by bystanders.
That attack, at London Bridge, was carried out by a man with Islamist militant sympathies. He had been jailed for terrorism and released early.
London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said in a statement after Sunday's incident: "Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life - here in London we will never let them succeed."
Amman had been jailed for promoting violent Islamist material and had encouraged his girlfriend to behead her parents, it later emerged.
In November 2018 he pleaded guilty to possession of terrorist documents and disseminating terrorist publications, and the following month he was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
He was 17 and living at home with his mother and younger siblings when he first began committing terrorism offenses, according to authorities. Police became aware of his activities in April 2018 and he was arrested by armed officers in a north London street a month later.
When officers examined his computers and phone, they found he had downloaded material about making explosives and carrying out terrorist attacks, according to police.
Messages showed that he had discussed with his family, friends and girlfriend his extreme views and desire to carry out an attack, often focused on using a knife, police said.
In December 2017 Amman posted a picture of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed during a U.S. raid in Syria in October, and told his brother in a message that "the Islamic State is here to stay."
He also described Yazidi women as slaves and said the Koran made it permissible to rape them, and in another message he encouraged his girlfriend to behead her parents.
Police said he had shared an online al-Qaeda magazine with his family and while in a discussion about school with a sibling he wrote he would "rather blow myself up."