A man has been charged with the murder of Sir David Amess, a British Member of Parliament (MP), following a knife attack in Essex, U.K. on October 15.
Ali Harbi Ali, aged 25 of north London, was charged on October 21 with murder (contrary to common law), and preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division (SCCTD).
An individual, thought to be Ali, was arrested at the scene on October 15. Investigations followed, including searches of a number of London addresses and examinations of digital devices and CCTV footage.
Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, said: “I want to send my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess, who died so tragically last Friday. Sir David’s dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many has shone through.
“Today’s charge is a significant milestone in the case, but the work from my colleagues in the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command will continue apace. There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged. I understand the huge level of public interest in this case, but now a charge has been brought, it is vitally important that everyone exercises restraint when commenting on it publicly, to ensure future court proceedings are not prejudiced in any way.”
Across the U.K., police forces have been working with MPs to review their safety and security arrangements. Sir Amess was attacked during an open surgery that he held to discuss matters of concern with his constituents. It follows the June 2016 attack on Jo Cox, another MP who was fatally stabbed in the village where she had been about to hold her constituency surgery. Cox’s attacker, who held far-right views, was arrested, charged and found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.