British police were questioning a 25-year-old man they say stabbed to death a Conservative member of parliament, as authorities sought to determine whether he was motivated by Islamic extremism
The suspect is identified as a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali descent, an official said.
Oct. 17, 2021 11:20 am ETLONDON—British police Sunday were questioning a 25-year-old man they say stabbed to death a Conservative member of parliament as authorities sought to determine whether he was motivated by Islamic extremism.The suspect in the killing of Tory lawmaker David Amess on Friday was identified as Ali Harbi Ali, a U.K. citizen of Somali descent, according to a British official. Authorities haven’t officially named him. He was being held at a London police station under the Terror Act.
Friday’s attack appears to be the latest in a string of lone-wolf stabbings by radicalized individuals who have gone under British counterterrorism officials’ radar. A British official said early indications were that Mr. Ali wasn’t on a security watch list and hadn’t been investigated before.
On Sunday, Home Secretary Priti Patel lauded Britain’s security services. She also said a review of a government antiradicalization program called Prevent was already under way before Friday’s attack.“We want to ensure that it is fit for purpose, robust, doing the right thing,” Ms. Patel said. headtopics.com
British security officials have expressed concern that people may have become radicalized online during the country’s pandemic lockdowns and been cut off from outreach efforts to combat terrorism.Floral tributes left at the church in Leigh-on-Sea where Mr. Amess was killed.
Photo:adrian dennis/Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesCounterterrorism police searched two addresses in London on Saturday but said they were seeking no other individuals in connection with Mr. Amess’s killing, which marked the second time in five years that a British lawmaker has died in a violent attack while appearing in public.
The suspect’s father told the U.K.’s Sunday Times newspaper that he was shocked by what had happened: “It’s not something that I expected or even dreamt of,” he said.Prevent was introduced as part of the U.K.’s counterterrorism strategy in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Its importance grew after a series of bombings in London in 2005 heightened concerns about the threat of homegrown terrorism.
In 2015, it became a statutory duty for schools, colleges, universities, health bodies, prisons, probation organizations and the police to report any concerns about people who may be at risk of turning to extremism.People referred are screened by police and those deemed at risk of radicalization are passed on to panels chaired by local authorities to assess the person’s vulnerability and how to address it. Panels meet monthly to review progress and decide when a person can leave the program. headtopics.com
Of the 6,287 referrals to Prevent in the year ended March 31, 2020, 697 were passed on to a panel, according to Home Office Statistics. The highest number of referrals were made by police. The overwhelming majority of individuals referred were male, and over half were under the age of 20. Of the 697 cases taken up by a panel during that period, 43% were referred due to concerns regarding right-wing radicalization, with Islamic radicalization accounting for 30%.
A picture of Mr. Amess at the Leigh-on-Sea church where he was killed on Friday.Photo:CHRIS RADBURN/REUTERSPrevent has been criticized as discriminating against Muslims, and some human-rights groups have called for the program to be scrapped. An independent review commissioned by the government in early 2019 has been beset by delays, with the official appointed to lead it being forced to step down following a legal challenge over his past advocacy for Prevent. The official appointed to replace him earlier this year has also been accused of anti-Muslim views and a coalition of advocacy groups has threatened to boycott the review in protest.
Friday’s killing shook the British political establishment and highlighted the continued challenges governments face against lone-wolf extremists armed with basic weapons. MI5’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre lowered the U.K.’s threat level earlier this year from “severe” to “substantial,” meaning a terrorist attack remains likely.
Mr. Amess’s killing has revived the debate about the protection afforded to British members of Parliament who customarily visit their home districts to meet with local constituents several times a month and don’t normally have personal security details. headtopics.com
Ms. Patel, the home secretary, has asked police forces to review security arrangements for lawmakers. She said there was a need to tighten their security through measures including booking appointments in advance, checking the details of individuals they would meet and ensuring lawmakers weren’t alone.
Mr. Amess had publicized the time and place of the meeting with his constituents at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea on his Twitter page several days beforehand. Prime Ministerlaid flowers there on Saturday morning. Read more: The Wall Street Journal »
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U.K. lawmaker stabbed to death while meeting with voters; incident declared terrorismBritish lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death Friday while holding a regular meeting with constituents, police said, in a killing that has shaken the Brits are lucky they don’t have AK-47’s in every nut jobs hands. If this killer had such a dangerous weapon, more people would have died BuzzFeedUK TwitterUK BBCOne Crazies are taking over..... IAmSophiaNelson And by all accounts this British lawmaker David Amess was an exemplary human being, incredibly well thought of. Horrible tragedy.
Fatal stabbing of British lawmaker David Amess called terrorist incident by UK policeBritish Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a constituency meeting east of London. That’s a Tuesday for America A Nice Medley: Lick my balls. Who gives a pile.
Counterterrorism officers will lead Amess investigation, Essex Police chief saysA British lawmaker, Conservative MP Sir David Amess, was stabbed several times today at a Methodist Church. Follow here for the latest. assassination How bad is uk mental health?
David Amess, U.K. lawmaker, stabbed to death in church attackPrime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to reporters about the killing of David Amess after the member of parliament was stabbed at a church Friday. Johnson called Amess “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics.” Read more: Rip so sorry 😿 sendvidbot BorisJohnson , Mr. Prime Minister, since the UK is seeing so many cases of crimes, it's time to consider providing body guard to the lawmakers. 🤔
British member of Parliament dies after being stabbed while meeting with constituentsSir David Amess, a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, has died after being stabbed multiple times while meeting with constituents at a church. NBC's Matt Bradley reports from London. There is no greater joy than having financial stability and a life free of debts, that’s why I keep tweeting about lisamiaBTC it has been a pleasure collaborating with you...there is no other way I can show my appreciation other than tweeting the good deed you have done No one deserves this no matter what! Alarming and sad.😎
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