'He Was Unlucky': David Amess Was Killed 'at Random', Report Says
05:52 GMT 18.10.2021 (Updated: 06:07 GMT 19.10.2021)
The Metropolitan Police Service announced in an early Saturday memo that Friday's fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess in the Essex town of Leigh-on-Sea has been declared a terrorist incident.
UK media outlets have reported that Ali Harbi Ali, the suspect behind Tory MP Sir David Amess' murder
was plotting to kill any UK politician, including Labour and Tory MPs, and that the 69-year-old lawmaker was stabbed to death "at random".
"He [Sir David] was unlucky. He was not targeted because of his political party. David Amess was not specifically targeted", The Telegraph cited an unnamed government source as saying.
Earlier, both police and investigators were mystified over why the 69-year-old was picked for an attack by Ali, a British national of Somali heritage. Initial reports asserted that Sir David – a Roman Catholic and eminent Brexiteer - had been targeted because of his political views or religion.
Ali Reportedly Watched Videos of Islamist Preacher
The insiders' claims come as former friends of Ali argued in an interview with The Sun that Ali was radicalised after he watched YouTube videos of convicted Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Ali's former friends asserted that the videos turned Ali from a "popular pupil into an extremist".
In 2016, Choudary was sentenced to five and a half years after he was convicted of inviting support for Daesh*. The radical preacher was released on license from HMP Belmarsh in 2018 and he was subject to more than 20 conditions at the time.
Choudary is notoriously known for heading a now-banned group supporting an extreme interpretation of Islam.
As for Ali, a few years ago he was reportedly referred to Prevent, the UK government's counter-terrorism programme, but that his behaviour was not believed to be extreme enough to alert MI5, Britain's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.
On Monday afternoon, MPs are due to pay tribute to Amess in the House of Commons ahead of a church service in his memory at Westminster Abbey.
17 October 2021, 15:40 GMT
His family earlier thanked the public and his colleagues for their "wonderful" tributes following Sir David's "cruel and violent death" last Friday.
Southend West MP Amess
was meeting constituents at his weekly "surgery" in Leigh-on-Sea when Ali walked in and stabbed him at least 17 times. Paramedics battled for more than an hour to save the 69-year-old father of five, but to no avail. Police arrested Ali at the scene.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.