Sir David Amess murder suspect considered killing others, source claims

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The man arrested on suspicion of murdering MP Sir David Amess has been pictured for the first time.

It came after reports claimed the alleged killer Ali Harbi Ali had considered murdering other politicians.

A blurry picture of the British national, who has Somali heritage, shows him smiling at the camera.

Ali, 25, is still being questioned by officers with the security services using additional powers under anti-terrorism laws to detain him until October 22.

The probe into Sir David's death suggests he was not specifically targeted but may have been picked at random as part of a plot to kill any national politician, sources told the Daily Telegraph.

Ali Harbi Ali is currently been held on suspicion of murdering Sir David at a constituency surgery at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday afternoon.

Police believe there may have been no "specific motive" for targeting Sir David, who tragically died at the scene aged 69.

The murder has led to calls for MPs across all parties to tighten up security at their homes and constituency offices.

Police have labelled the killing a "terror incident", and investigators will be attempting to work out who the suspect had been in contact with in the run-up to the attack to better understand what went on.

Security services believe it was a "lone wolf" attack at this stage as they described it as a "low-sophistication" plot that requires little planning.

Ali was known to the security services and had briefly been referred to the Prevent scheme, designed to stop people becoming terrorists.

Sources think he might have been "self-radicalised" during the coronavirus lockdown.

Former pals claimed he watched videos of radical hate preacher Anjem Choudary on YouTube.

Ali is alleged to have travelled more than 50 miles from his home in North London to the constituency event in Essex ahead of the killing.

Reports had initially suggested the Tory politician, who was MP for Southend West, had been selected because of his values, views or religion.

But now investigators believe he was chosen because his killer had succeeded in booking a face-to-face meeting with the MP.

One government source told the Telegraph: "He was unlucky. He was not targeted because of his political party.

"We believe David Amess was not specifically targeted."

Another source said it "remained unclear" why Sir David was selected.

Sir David had been an MP since 1983 and met the public every fortnight and advertised the details on his parliamentary website.

He was meeting his constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church when he was attacked.

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Ali was born in the UK and it is not thought he had made any recent trips to his native Somalia or Kenya, where the terror cell al-Shabaab has a strong base.

Nothing has been flagged on travel databases while travel to east Africa during the Covid pandemic has been difficult and might have raised concerns among authorities.

The alleged killer has no known connections to Leigh-on-Sea or to Sir David, authorities have now concluded.

He grew up in Croydon in south London and was living in Kentish Town in north London at the time the politician was killed.

  • Murder
  • Crime

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