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UK police charge suspect with terrorist murder of lawmaker David Amess

Ali Harbi Ali, who is British with Somali heritage, is indicted for the stabbing of the Conservative lawmaker as he met constituents at a church hall last week

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)

LONDON — A man has been charged in the stabbing of a Conservative lawmaker who was killed as he met constituents at a church hall last week.

Authorities said a 25-year-old British man with Somali heritage, Ali Harbi Ali, has been charged under the Terrorism Act in the death of David Amess.

“We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations,” said Nick Price of the Crown Prosecution Service. “He has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts.”

The death of Amess, who had served in Parliament for almost 40 years and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, has shocked Britain, especially its politicians, who pride themselves on being accessible to their constituents. It has prompted conversations at the highest levels about how the country protects its leaders and grapples with extremism at home.

The slaying came five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist. Cox was the first British lawmaker to be killed since a peace accord ended large-scale Northern Ireland violence almost 30 years earlier.

Amess, 69, was a social conservative who opposed abortion, campaigned for animal rights, and strongly supported Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Conservative MP David Amess with his pugs, Lily and Boat, at the Westminster Dog of the Year competition at Victoria Tower Gardens in London on Oct. 10, 2013 (Geoff Caddick/PA via AP)

He was a longtime member of Conservative Friends of Israel. He campaigned successfully for a statue in London for Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, and enjoyed warm ties to the British Jewish community. He was also a trenchant critic of the ayatollahs’ regime in Iran.

Matt Jukes, the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, said the force “will continue to build our case.” He said detectives had analyzed computers, searched several London addresses and reviewed CCTV footage as part of the investigation.

“It remains the case that no other arrests have been made and at this time we are not seeking anybody else in relation to this incident,” he said.

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