Ali Harbi Ali was found guilty of the assassination of MP David Amess

CHEMLSFORD (Parliament Politics Magazine) – For the killing of Sir David Amess, Conservative MP, a man who was cleared of being a terrorist danger by an anti-radicalisation programme’s official now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Amess was stabbed to death by 26 years old Ali Harbi Ali on October 15, 2021, after spending at least two years researching which MP to assassinate and being fueled by Islamic State propaganda.

In 2014, Ali was radicalised while going through the Prevent anti-radicalisation scheme. According to the Guardian, while Ali was becoming a supporter of terrorist violence in 2015, Prevent determined that he did not constitute a substantial threat and closed his case.

Amess died less than an hour after the attack in a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where he was holding an advice surgery for constituents in his Southend West constituency. He was the second MP to be assassinated by a terrorist in five years; in the year 2016, an extreme rightwing assailant assassinated Labour MP Jo Cox.

The terrorist would rot in jail and die in ignominy, her widow, Brendan Cox, said following Ali’s conviction. David’s name would be remembered, particularly by the residents of Southend, where he served.

Terrorists might claim a variety of ideologies, but what they all had in common was a desire for infamy, cowardly attacks on the defenceless, and a complete inability to promote their cause. “My heartfelt condolences and affection go out to David’s family”, she said.

Ali, who previously aspired to be a doctor, was apprehended at the site after posing as a constituent in order to get an appointment. After his arrest, he told police that he supported IS and that he had chosen Amess because his constituency surgery details, including location and time, were posted online.

69 years old Amess, was stabbed 21 times and died inside the church before paramedics arrived.

The jury at the Old Bailey in central London convicted Ali of murdering Amess and plotting additional assaults against MPs after 18 minutes of deliberation. As the unanimous judgments were read, he refused to stand.

Ali, a resident of north London’s Kentish Town, boarded a train to Essex and made an appointment at the constituency surgery with the sole purpose of assassinating Amess. He told Amess’s aides he had lately moved to Essex when he hadn’t. 

Ali received a call in the room with Amess, apologised, rose up, and took a knife from his pocket, launching a furious knife assault.

Ali lingered in the church and sent a note to his contacts on WhatsApp explaining his conduct as Amess lay dying. Despite having sufficient time and opportunity, he did not attempt to assault anyone else.

“I want to kill David,” Ali stood with a knife in his right hand, according to a guy who entered the church shortly after the stabbing. “I want them to all die.”

“What have you done?” said a female voice while Ali was on the phone, according to the witness. Ali responded by saying he did it because of Syria and that he wanted to be shot and murdered. 

He wanted to kill David and every MP who voted for bombings in Syria, Ali said when the man questioned why he did it. He wanted to die, get shot, and be remembered as a hero.

Ali told police after his detention that he had raced towards policemen because he wanted to be shot. Instead, when he saw the first officers on the scene were unarmed, he obeyed their order to lay down his knife.

He had been planning an attack for two years, since in May of the year 2019, allegedly enraged by Western involvement in Syria. He had conducted reconnaissance on other MPs, including scouting Michael Gove’s residence.

Several times, he hung about the Houses of Parliament, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Officials in charge of counter-terrorism believe he acted alone. 

The assassination of Amess elicited shock and indignation, as well as a review of MP security. With 38 years in parliament, he was known as a hardworking constituency MP. The murder was described as a “assault on democracy” by the jury.

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.