UK MP David Amess murder: Suspect of Somali descent, planned the stabbing for over a week

David Amess stabbing: The Scotland Yard was reported to have taken over the investigation, and the AFP news agency said citing police officials that “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism” is being probed.
Police officers guard the scene where British MP David Amess was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Britain, October 16, 2021. (REUTERS)
Police officers guard the scene where British MP David Amess was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Britain, October 16, 2021. (REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 17, 2021 01:57 PM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The killing of British Conservative MP David Amess, who was stabbed multiple times to death in his constituency on October 15, has thrown open some serious questions about political violence and harassment or intimidation of politicians. As British police detectives continue to question the individual who is suspected of fatally stabbing the UK lawmaker, some interesting facts have come to light.

Also Read | UK MP David Amess's killer was referred to counter-terrorism scheme: Report

Suspect: British man of Somali descent

The BBC reported, citing Whitehall officials, that the suspect’s name is Ali Harbi Ali – a 25-year-old British Muslim of Somali heritage who a few years ago was referred to ‘Prevent’, the UK's scheme for those who were thought at risk of radicalisation.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail newspaper also cited people familiar with the matter and reported that Ali was the son of Harbi Ali Kullane, a former communications adviser to the prime minister of Somalia. Kullane has confirmed that his son was in police custody and that he was ‘traumatised’ by the arrest. The same was also confirmed by The Sunday Times newspaper in its correspondence.

Suspect's residence: High-profile north London neighbourhood

According to the Mail, Ali planned the fatal stabbing of Sir David for more than a week and even booked an appointment for surgery or an open meeting at the Tory MP's Southend West constituency in Essex, before he ended up stabbing the lawmaker 17 times. Ali may have lived in the area at some time in the past, the report said, adding that his present residence is situated in a high-profile north London neighbourhood “in a street of £2 million three-storey townhouses where neighbours include broadcaster Giles Coren and, formerly, the late actor Roger Lloyd Pack, who played Trigger in Only Fools And Horses.”

Potential links to ‘Islamic extremism’

Meanwhile, the Scotland Yard was reported to have taken over the investigation, and the AFP news agency said citing police officials that “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism” is being probed. Police said they have been carrying out searches at three addresses in the London area in a “fast-paced investigation”.

Also Read | UK police says murder of MP Amess was a terrorist incident

Ali is believed not to have spent a long time on the ‘Prevent’ programme, which is voluntary, and was never formally a “subject of interest” to MI5, the British spy agency, said the BBC.

David Amess was talking with voters at a church in the small town of Leigh-on-Sea east of London when he was stabbed to death on Friday. Reports pointed out that Sir David talked to the public as a regular practice every fortnight, and he even advertised the details of those meetings on his parliamentary website.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021