David Amess murder suspect named as Ali Harbi Ali as sources say he was flagged to Prevent anti-terror scheme

THE man arrested for the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess has been named as Ali Harbi Ali.

The 25-year-old, who is a British national with Somali heritage, is not thought to have been previously known to the security services.

Sir David Amess, 69, was knifed to death in a terror attack yesterday[/caption]
Paul Edwards
Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church[/caption]

However, the investigation is still in its early stages and that could change if new details emerge.

The suspect was arrested on Friday at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where the MP for Southend West had been meeting constituents.

Sources confirmed his name to the Sun this evening.

The tragedy comes as…

Anti-terror cops have searched two London homes as they probe any links the suspect may have to Islamic extremism.

Sources previously told the Guardian the man shares details with a person previously referred to the Government’s anti-terror Prevent programme.

The Prevent scheme asks the public and key workers to spot early signs of radicalisation.

The suspect is understood to have lived in Sir David’s Southend West constituency after his family came to the UK from the war-torn East African country in the 1990s.

Urgent background checks are being carried out on him to establish any potential links with jihadist groups.

The suspect’s health records are also being examined to check on his psychiatric history.

In January 2019 ministers announced the creation of the Independent Review of Prevent as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act.

In last years stats there were 6,287 referrals to Prevent – an an increase of 10 per cent compared to the previous year.

It emerged that last year 1,487 (24 per cent) were referred to Prevent over concerns related to Islamist radicalisation and 1,387 (22 per cent) were referred with links to the far right.

Prevent has long been opposed by many Muslim and Islamist groups in the UK including the Muslim Council of Britain.

Sir David, who represented Southend West in Essex, was attacked just after midday at Belfairs Methodist Church.

Paramedics frantically battled to save the stricken MP while horrified constituents watched as the suspect was led away from the bloodbath.

However, in spite of their efforts, he died at the scene.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday evening, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said the force will “keep an open mind” in their probe.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, a Home Office spokesman said.

It’s been confirmed that all politicians will be contacted regarding their security arrangements.

MP Tobias Ellwood has called for all meetings between politicians and constituents to take place over Zoom in the wake of the horror.

The ex Green Jacket, who gave murdered police officer Keith Palmer CPR during the Westminster terror attack, said: “MP engagement with the public is a vital part of our work.

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“But [it’s] understandable [there’s] huge anxiety amongst MPs now.

Until the Home Secretary’s review of MP security is complete, I would recommend a temporary pause in face-to-face meetings.”

However, former Cabinet minister David Davis said such a move would be a “terrible reflection of what David stood for”.

He told Sky News: “I don’t think we should do that. I’m sorry, I disagree with Tobias on that.

“I don’t think David would (agree) either.

“Sure, we should be cautious, maybe we should do things to ensure the people who come to see us are bona fide, but I think actually pausing it would be a bad idea.

“It would be a terrible reflection of what David stood for – David himself was the ultimate constituency MP.

“You can see that in the response of people in his constituency.”

Tributes have flooded in for the MP
Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in Essex
Sir David Amess with his wife Julie at daughter Alexandra’s wedding with his other girls as bridesmaids
Sir David is seen discussing Brexit with the PM in 2016

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