London’s Metropolitan Police have charged Ali Harbi Ali with murder and “preparation of terrorist acts” after a knife attack that saw British Member of Parliament David Amess killed at a constituency event last Friday.
Ali Harbi Ali, 25 years old, of North London and widely reported as of Somalian heritage was charged with murder, and of preparing terrorist acts under the Terrorism Act 2006 on Thursday. He is being held by police and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.
Ali was arrested in Essex on Friday at the church where Sir David Amess MP had been fatally stabbed during a constituency ‘surgery’ — regular events where members of the public are able to meet with their representatives and discuss issues that matter to them. Police used terror powers to extend the time they were able to hold Ali without charge, which would have expired tomorrow had he not been charged today.
Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, said on Thursday: “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.”
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