Harbi Ali, the son of a former media adviser to Somalia’s former prime minister, was arrested by British police under anti-terrorism laws following the murder of lawmaker David Amess, according to a source close to the investigation and British media.
Amess, 69, of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, was repeatedly stabbed while meeting constituents in a church in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, on Friday.
The killing occurred five years after the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour Party lawmaker, and has prompted a review of politicians’ security.
Police said a 25-year-old British man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and that he is believed to have acted alone.
They have not named the suspect, but have detained him until Oct. 22 using additional powers under anti-terrorism laws.
A British source close to the investigation identified the detained suspect as Ali Harbi Ali, a British citizen.
Ali Harbi Ali’s father, Harbi Ali Kullane, told The Sunday Times that his son had been arrested in connection with the murder.
“At this time, we are dealing with an unprecedented and horrific situation,” Harbi Ali Kullane, a former adviser to Hassan Ali Khaire, a former Somali prime minister, told Reuters in an email.
“I am obligated and commanded not to talk about it due to the ongoing early investigation,” said Harbi Ali Kullane, a former director of the Somali government’s media and communication department.
According to Reuters, British police were searching an address in north London linked to Ali Harbi Ali on Sunday.
Amess’ family stated that they are “absolutely broken” and urged everyone to come together.
“Set aside hatred and work toward unity,” they said in a statement issued by London police. “Be tolerant and try to understand, regardless of race, religion, or political beliefs.”
Priti Patel, the UK’s interior minister, stated that the country is looking into ways to improve lawmakers’ security.Conservative MP, Sir David Amess stabbed to death
“Within that, other options are being considered, such as when you hold your surgeries, could you have officers or some kind of security…?” She told Sky News on Sunday that she was referring to meetings between British lawmakers and their constituents.
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