Islamic State claims south London attack

CAIRO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to end the early release of convicted terrorists after an Islamist attacker stabbed two people days after he was set free half way through his prison term.

Sudesh Amman, jailed in 2018 for possession of terrorist documents and disseminating terrorist publications, was shot dead by police on Sunday (Feb 2) after he went on the rampage with a stolen 10-inch (25 cm) knife on a busy London street.

Amman had previously praised the Islamic State group, shared an online al Qaeda magazine and encouraged his girlfriend to behead her parents.

Johnson said the government would announce fundamental changes in dealing with people convicted of terrorism offences, saying he had come "to the end of my patience" with freeing offenders before they had completed their sentences and without any scrutiny.

READ: UK police search homes in terror stabbing probe

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READ: UK vows action after police kill 'convicted extremist' in terror stabbing

"I think the idea of automatic early release for people who obviously continue to pose a threat to the public has come to the end of its useful life," he said in a speech.

"We do think it's time to take action to ensure that people – irrespective of the law that we're bringing in – people in the current stream do not qualify automatically for early release."

The government has repeatedly promised tougher rules on terrorism since another former convict killed two people and wounded three more before police shot him dead near London Bridge in November.

Johnson said the instances of deradicalising and rehabilitating Islamists was hard and the instances of success were few.

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Sunday's attacker, Amman, had recently been released from prison, according to police, having been jailed for promoting violent Islamist material.

He went on the rampage after strapping a fake bomb to his body. He stabbed two people, while a third suffered minor injuries caused by shattered glass when police opened fire.

Amman was under surveillance at the time by police, who shot him dead.

In November 2018 he pleaded guilty to possessing terrorist documents and disseminating terrorist publications, and the following month he was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

His mother, Haleema Faraz Khan, told Sky News that he was a "nice, polite boy" who was radicalised online and in prison. She said she had spoken to her son hours before the attack and he had seemed normal when she saw him days before.

"He became more religious inside prison, that's where I think he became radicalised," she said.

Britain has about 220 people in prison with terrorism convictions.

In 2016, Britain announced plans to isolate radical Islamists in special units in high security jails to limit their ability to influence other inmates amid concerns that prisons were breeding grounds for extremists.

But there have been warnings that the system is failing to address the problem and last month one inmate convicted of terrorism offences attacked prison officers.

Ian Acheson, who carried out a review of the management of Islamist extremists in jail, said the prison service did not have the appetite or aptitude to manage terrorist offenders.

"We may need to accept there are certain people who are so dangerous thRead More – Source