LONDON: The family of a terrorist who was shot dead by police after conducting a knifing rampage in London are expected to question whether his life could have been saved by being arrested earlier.
It will be the first time relatives of an Islamist terrorist in Britain will ask in court if the killing of their relative was necessary.
The inquest into the death of Sudesh Amman, 20, who stabbed two random members of the public on Feb. 2, 2020, is due to open on Monday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Amman was being closely observed by undercover reconnaissance officers when he was seen purchasing items for a fake suicide vest, which he put together in his probation hostel.
The next day, while being followed by officers, he quickly grabbed a knife from a shop and stabbed two passers-by in south London.
Both of his victims survived, but Amman was shot and killed by the armed team that was tracking him a minute after his rampage commenced.
His prison release on Jan. 23 meant that he had spent just 10 days in a probation hostel before he was killed.
At a pre-inquest hearing in July, Amman’s relatives queried if the police and MI5 could have arrested him before he was able to conduct the attack.
MI5, Britain’s domestic security service, has applied for intelligence about Amman to be given public interest immunity, which would limit its use in court or any inquiry.
Rajiv Menon QC, representing the Amman family, argued that immunity should not be given if the material “goes to the state of mind of any relevant police officer or security service agent, as to what Sudesh Amman was planning or contemplating.”
The lawyer said his clients have objected to a statement by a police officer known as HA6, who was the senior investigating officer on the “priority” operation against Amman.
The officer said police “could not effect an arrest,” but Menon argued that they “knew the day before that Amman had bought items that could be used to make a fake suicide vest.”
At the hearing at the High Court, he added: “We will be making the point that the police knew more than enough to effect an arrest and should have done so.”
At the time, investigators and surveillance officers feared an attack by Amman was imminent, keeping him under constant observation.
Jonathan Hough QC, for the coroner, said: “This is not a case of signs being missed. It is difficult to imagine a higher grade response, short of arrest and you will be aware of what HA6 says about why that was not feasible.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is writing a supplementary report to cover the operation against Amman from January 2020.
The IOPC said on June 17 that during the investigation, “it is not anticipated that any concerns will arise as to the conduct of any police officers.”