CCTV footage shows suspect in slaying of British MP Amess hours before stabbing

Ali Harbi Ali seen strolling down north London street, apparently heading to train station as he set off to coastal town where he allegedly killed David Amess later that day

Screen capture from video of Ali Harbi Ali, the suspect in the stabbing to death of British MP David Amess, October 15, 2021. (Daily Mail)
Screen capture from video of Ali Harbi Ali, the suspect in the stabbing to death of British MP David Amess, October 15, 2021. (Daily Mail)

Security camera footage emerged Monday showing the man suspected of killing a British lawmaker strolling down a London street hours before he struck down the MP in a frenzied stabbing attack.

British authorities have not released the name of the suspect in the Friday killing of 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker David Amess, but British media reported the suspect was Ali Harbi Ali, 25, a British citizen with Somali heritage.

The video, first published by Sky News and then picked up by other British media, shows Ali on a street near his home in the north of the capital as he was heading to the Gospel Oak station. From there he is thought to have traveled to Leigh-on-Sea, a journey of about an hour and a half, where he stabbed Amess to death as he met with constituents in Belfairs Methodist Church.

It shows Ali wearing a green duffle coat and clutching a black backpack.

The footage is thought to be a key element in the ongoing investigation into the attack, the Daily Mail reported. It was obtained by police from a store close to Ali’s home. More footage has been taken from other CCTV cameras in the area and in Leigh-on-Sea along the route to the church where the stabbing took place.

Detectives have declared the killing a terrorist incident and said they are investigating “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.”

According to the report, Ali made an appointment a week earlier to meet with the lawmaker. There is no indication that he tried to arrange similar meetings with any other MPs. The report noted that Sir Keir Starmer is the suspect’s local MP, but that as leader of the Labour Party and the opposition, access to him may have been more controlled.

Investigators now suspect that Ali targeted Amess just because he was able to book a face-to-face meeting with him at the church.

More details also emerged about Ali’s father, Harbi Ali Kullane, who was once an adviser to the prime minister of Somalia. A security source revealed that Ali Kullane received death threats in Somalia from the al-Shabaab extremist terror group because of his opposition to the group, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The source said that as a result, Ali Kullane “despises terrorists,” raising questions as to how his son became radicalized.

Ali Kullane has been cooperating with police on the investigation, including analysis of his phone in the search for clues, the Mail reported. Part of the investigation is focusing on Amess’s ties to Qatar. The slain MP had returned from the Gulf state last week and was chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Qatar.

Qatar is an ally of the current Somalian government.

Friends of Ali told The Sun on Sunday that he became radicalized after watching videos on YouTube.

Before the attack, the suspect had been referred to Prevent, the official counterterrorist scheme for those thought to be at risk of radicalization, according to reports.

Counterterror officers from London’s Metropolitan police are leading the probe. In their last update late Saturday, the force said that they were searching three addresses in the capital.

The attack was the second killing of a UK politician in five years and has stoked fears for the safety of elected representatives, as well as calls for an end to divisive partisan rhetoric that has increased since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

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