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Amess Murder Suspect Reportedly Received 'Broad Support' Under UK's Counter-Terror Scheme in 2014

© REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAYFloral tributes to British MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents, lay outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, October 19, 2021
Floral tributes to British MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents, lay outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, October 19, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.10.2021
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Ali Harbi Ali was earlier referred to the UK government programme Prevent for monitoring the "radicalisation" of youth, but he was never a formal subject of interest to the British counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism service MI5.
Ali Harbi Ali, the suspect behind the killing of Tory MP David Amess received "extensive" support in line with the government's counter-terrorism programme Channel before his case was closed, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying that the 25-year-old Briton of Somali heritage was referred to the Channel programme shortly after he went through Prevent, the government's scheme for monitoring the "radicalisation" of youth.

According to the source, Ali was referred to Channel for months as he was attending an educational establishment in London in 2014 over concerns about him possibly being drawn towards an Islamist ideology.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer, second from right, carry flowers as they arrive at the scene where a member of Parliament was stabbed Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.10.2021
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The insider argued that the referral involved having Ali's vulnerability assessed and him accepting support under Channel. The source claimed that in the end, Ali "was not thought to pose a threat of terrorist violence and the case was closed".

The claims come as the UK-based counter-terrorism think tank, Henry Jackson Society, asserted that the Prevent scheme has been "hamstrung by political correctness following a well-organised campaign by Islamist groups and the political Left of false allegations of 'Islamophobia' so that its work is skewed away from the gravest threat – that of radical Islam".

Rakib Ehsan, the author of the report, in turn, underscored that Prevent's main goal is "to reduce the UK's overall terror threat and maximise public safety". He added that "at the moment, it [the scheme] is failing to deliver on this front".
This was preceded by a report from The Times that the government is overhauling its strategy related to the Prevent programme, in the wake David Amess' murder.
In line with the overview, MI5, Britain's counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism service, will reportedly be given a greater say on whether people at risk of radicalisation are placed in the Prevent scheme.

Ali Reportedly Watched Videos of Islamist Preacher

The report followed former friends of Ali arguing in an interview with The Sun that Ali was purportedly radicalised after he watched YouTube videos of convicted Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
They claimed the videos turned Ali from a "popular pupil into an extremist".
Police stand guard outside house believed to be address belonging to man arrested in connection with killing of British MP Amess, in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.10.2021
David Amess Murderer: What We Know So Far About Somali Suspect
As for Choudary, in 2016 he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison 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.
On Wednesday, Ali was arrested on suspicion of murdering Conservative lawmaker David Amess, who was stabbed to death in an attack that is being treated as a terrorist assault by police. The 69-year-old was killed while at his constituency surgery in the Belfairs Methodist Church in the town of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
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