Emergency Terror Law Following London Stabbing


Tiffany Zhu, Staff Writer

On Feb. 2, a man armed with a knife and fake bomb stabbed two people in Streatham (near Central London) before being shot to death by police. The police identified the attacker to be 20-year-old Sudesh Amman. Due to the situation, an emergency terror law was suggested by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to avoid another attack. 

In 2018, Amman was convicted for possessing information on bomb making and knife attacks and releasing terrorist videos online. Initially, he was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, but only served part of his sentence. He was released about a week before the attack. According to the BBC, he was under various restrictions, and the police tracked his whereabouts with a GPS tag. Although the police were following him at the time of the attack, they were not able to intervene in time. 

A similar attack happened on Nov. 29, 2019. A man, later identified as Usman Khan, wore a fake suicide vest and stabbed several people near London Bridge. After being wrestled to the ground by civilians, a police officer shot him to death. Two people died from the stabbing. Three others sustained injuries and were treated at a hospital. In 2010, Khan was arrested for his involvement in the plan to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange. He served half of his prison sentence before he was released in 2018. 

Regarding Amman’s victims, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said that their conditions have greatly improved. One victim who was in life-threatening condition has improved. The other victim was released from the hospital. 

In the wake of the London stabbings, Boris Johnson has promised new rules to prevent the situation from happening again. The emergency legislation would require convicts to serve, at a minimum, two-thirds of their sentences. Unless the Parole Board gives their consent, convicts would not be freed before they serve their full terms.      

The rules would apply to people who are currently in the system and to those sentenced in the future. 

Prime Minister Johnson expressed, “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 has, however, voiced his concern about applying the rules to terrorist convicts. “Do you detain them en bloc, in a group, and try to keep them together because that avoids them, as if it were, infecting or passing the virus of their beliefs to others in jails, or do you disperse them and try to stop them reinfecting each other?” he said.   

Photo courtesy of BBC.COM