Leigh-on-Sea, England – The father of a man arrested for stabbing a British MP during a meeting with local voters has told British media that he is shocked and “hurt” by his son’s arrest, Because police continue to interrogate suspects under terrorism laws.
According to the Sunday Times, Herbie Ali Kulne, a former adviser to the Prime Minister of Somalia, said he was met by counter-terrorism police.
“I feel very hurt. It’s not something I expected or even dreamed of,” he said.
British officials have not released the name of the suspect in Friday’s fatal stabbing of 69-year-old Conservative MP David Ames, but British media reported the suspect was Ali Herbie Ali, 25, believed to be a British citizen of Somali heritage.
The longtime MP was attacked during a routine meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, about 40 miles (62 km) east of London.
The Metropolitan Police described the attack as terrorism and said that preliminary investigations have suggested “a possible motivation linked to Islamic extremism”.
It is not clear whether, if any, the suspect had links to Ames.
Police have been given additional time to question the suspect, who has not yet been charged.
The BBC and others reported that the suspect had been sent a few years ago to a government program aimed at deterring people from supporting extremism, but said he was not a formal subject of interest to security services.
Police investigating the murder were searching two addresses in London on Sunday.
Friday’s killing sparked renewed concern about the risk to politicians regarding their work. The attack comes five years after Labor lawmaker Joe Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in his constituency in West Yorkshire.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Sunday that officials were reviewing security arrangements for MPs, but she did not believe the AIIMS killing would change the relationship between MPs and their voters.
“It should never, ever, break the link between an elected representative and his democratic role, the responsibility and the duty of those elected to him,” she told Sky News on Sunday.
House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said she is working closely with the Home Office and police to identify ways to improve the security of lawmakers.