The killer of MP Sir David Ames was “dead behind his eyes” After the attack, one terrorist was on the watch list and had extremist material on his phone.
Sir David was stabbed to death on Friday during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
The person who is being apprehended is being named as Ali Herbie Ali last night. Witnesses said he appeared “dead behind his eyes” after the attack.
Sir David’s killer traveled 50 miles by train to assassinate him – and apparently told the MP’s staff that he had recently come to the area.
security source told The Mail on Sunday Ali had planned his deadly attack more than a week in advance.
Counter-terrorism police believe he boarded a service in London to carry out the lone wolf attack.
He is believed to have waived his right to remain silent upon arrest and is said to have fatally killed the father of five Sir David 17 times in his constituency surgery at a church hall in Leigh-on-Sea. He admitted to being stabbed.
The suspect was not on MI5’s “topics of interest” list. But he was referred in the initial phase of the Government Prevent Anti Terror Scheme.
Police and security services are investigating the theory that he was radicalized online during the lockdown. And he believes the suspect may have been inspired by al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda branch operating in Somalia and Kenya.
His phone contained Islamic material and may have targeted Sir David, a 69-year-old Tory, because he was a symbol of the British government. The attack was also linked to jihadist ideology, reportedly due to statements made to the arresting officers.
Yesterday he was being kept at a police station in London. Officials are likely to interrogate him till October 22. Sources said he lives in north London but had family ties to Southend, near Leigh-on-Sea. Searches were being conducted at two addresses in the capital.
Police are said to be trying to establish a motive so that they can charge him under the Terrorism Act – not just murder – which could lead to a full life sentence if convicted.
The person who was taken into custody by the police late last night was named as Ali Harbi Ali (25).
His father was a senior civil servant in the Somali government. He is believed to have been born in the UK after his family fled the war-torn East African country in the 1990s.
Dad Herbie Ali Kulne, a former adviser to the Prime Minister of Somalia, confirmed that his British-born son is in custody.
They told day times: “I feel so hurt. It’s not something I expected or even dreamed of.”
Mr. Kulne said the anti-terrorist police had met him.
An emergency worker called to the scene of Friday’s murder described how the killer was “dead behind his eyes.” He said: “What I saw was horrifying. We immediately learned that David was dead. There was no way to save anyone from this. It was such a barbaric attack. People were shedding tears because there was nothing anyone could do for him.
“The attacker was already in handcuffs and was sitting on the floor. He was completely dead behind his eyes, staring at him. And he didn’t say anything.”
A separate witness said the attacker had not booked to see Sir David, but that his assistant entered after waiting in a side room. The source added: “It was ad hoc and David agreed to see him. He was that kind of guy. He used to take bookings from people who had just arrived. This man was in the room with his assistant and he Saw everything
“His calmness sitting beside the body was unsettling.”
The attacker was already in handcuffs and was sitting on the floor. He was completely dead behind his eyes, staring at him. And he didn’t say anything.
an emergency worker
Tory councilor Dan Nelson said: “The attacker had been waiting for 40 minutes and was not booked in advance.”
It is understood that the man was checked in by Sir David’s assistant Julie Cushion Joe was too upset to comment on his home in the city.
Another assistant, 23-year-old Rebecca Heaton, is also said to have witnessed the horrific incident. Her father, Barry, said: “She’s very upset and can’t speak. The police have questioned him.”
The Day Times reported that a Zoom meeting with PR man Richard Hillgrove had ended just three minutes before Sir David was stabbed at 12.05. They were discussing Children’s Parliament, for which Hillgrove’s 11-year-old daughter Lola was matched with the MP.
Mr. Hillgrove saw the murder report on TV and said: “I was honored to know him. He was such an inspiration.
“Their engagement was incredible. They made sense of a crazy world.”
Leigh Tory councilor John Lamb said he had spoken to Sir David’s widow Julia, adding: “She and the rest of the family, especially the daughters, are as you can imagine, absolutely devastated. David was just out to do his job. He works here once a month and doesn’t come home.”
Yesterday police spent 30 minutes briefing PM Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Labor’s Sir Keir Starmer, local Tory MP James Dudridge and Essex Police Commissioner Roger Hurst near Belfair Methodist Church Hall, where the killing took place.
Rival politicians placed flowers and cards under an oak outside the church. The Labor and Lib Dems announced that they would not stand candidates in the by-election.
Sir David was about to walk down the aisle in December at the wedding of one of his four daughters. He did the same honor at the wedding of 31-year-old daughter Alexandra in August. His other children are actress Katie, 36, Sarah, 33, Florence, 30, and son David Jr., 37.
Retired headmaster David Gibbins fears his friend may be targeted for his religion. She said: “It is well known locally that he was a Christian who went to the Catholic Church, and people are wondering if this is the motive.”
It also emerged that colleagues and friends had warned Sir David that he was being seen as a “soft target” after activists demonstrated outside his constituency office in recent months.
It is well known locally that he was a Christian who went to a Catholic church, and people are wondering if this is the motive.
Retired Headmaster David Gibbins
Last night tearful locals laid dozens of wreaths with cards, teddy bears and photographs. Sir David was an animal rights champion and a proud supporter of the Westminster Dog of the Year contest, which he fought alongside his French Bulldog.
David Brockwell, 73, retired school caretaker, said he would miss Sir David popping up at the Royal British Legion club in nearby Westcliff-on-Sea.
He continued: “He was a lovely man who was completely down to earth without air and grace. He would come to the club and love a pint – and he always got his round too.”
Government failures to ‘stop terrorism’ Net
A string of fundamentalists, who have been cited as the government’s anti-radicalisation programme, have fallen into the trap.
Reading attacker Khairi Sadallah (25) was flagged off to preventive authorities, but “a definite ideology was not found”. He had killed three people in June 2020.
18-year-old tube bomber Ahmed Hassan was referred as part of Prevent, a channel mentoring scheme. But at the time of the 2017 attack, she was considering closing her case.
And 19-year-old Haroon Syed, who plotted “mass murder” with a nail bomb, slipped through the trap.
Official figures show that the names of 6,287 suspected terrorists were given to the security services last year. Of them, 697 got preventive support.
Iran’s link to Tory massacre suspected
SIR David Ames was at an Iranian opposition rally that a Tehran diplomat plotted to bomb – amid speculation of Iran’s links to the MP’s killing.
He joined five other British MPs at an event outside Paris in 2018, where the disgruntled Maryam Rajavi was a major target.
Asadullah Assadi, a 49-year-old diplomat, was jailed for 20 years after Belgian prosecutors said the bomb plot may have caused “bloodbath”.
Sir David was hailed as a champion by the Iranian opposition – and he called for the Iranian president to be banned from the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
A senior source said the Catholic MP could also be targeted for his religious beliefs.