A young supporter of the Islamic State group was sentenced on Wednesday, April 13, to life in prison without the possibility of release for the murder of British parliamentarian David Amess. The death of this member of the Conservative Party, veteran of the House of Commons, elected continuously since 1983 in Essex (east London), had caused a very strong commotion in the United Kingdom, where Parliament remains the basis of democracy. .
by condemning Ali Harbi Ali, 26 years oldNigel Sweeney, a judge at London’s Old Bailey Criminal Court, said he had no ” no doubt “ on the need to inflict a full life sentence on him – an extremely rare sentence in the United Kingdom – for the murder with a knife of the elect during a parliamentary stay, on October 15. “This is an assassination that hit the heart of our democracy”Mr. Sweeney said.
“Act of Vengeance”
Prosecutor Tom Little had pointed out that the murder of Mr. Amess was a “act of revenge”premeditated “long time” and affecting an elected official carrying out his or her mission.
Ali Harbi Ali, born and raised in London in a family of Somali origin, was found guilty on Monday of murder and preparation of terrorist acts. The young man pleaded not guilty, but last week he testified at the hearing that he had attacked the 69-year-old elected official because the latter had voted in favor of air strikes in Syria.
Frustrated at not going to fight with ISIS in Syria himself, the defendant told himself he had to “try to do something here to help Muslims there”.
The attack occurred while Amess was receiving his constituents at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, located 60 kilometers east of London. The Conservative-elect had been stabbed twenty times.
His assistant, Julie Cushion, said in a statement that she could not “never forget the scream” of his colleague Barbara at the time of the attack. She also described the look. “happy and self-satisfied” of the aggressor after the tragedy. “It breaks our hearts to learn that our husband and father had to greet the killer with a friendly smile.”David Amess’s family said in a statement.
Rekindles the trauma of Jo Cox’s murder
The death of David Amess, elected since 1983, had rekindled the trauma of the assassination of the elected Labor Jo Cox in June 2016. This 41-year-old MP had been shot and stabbed to death a week before the British referendum on affiliation. of the European Union.
These two tragedies have prompted calls to strengthen the security of elected officials and calm an electric political debate in recent years, especially since the exchanges around Brexit.
Ali Harbi Ali, according to British media, briefly completed an anti-radicalization programme, without being considered at risk by the security services. In addition to his full life sentence for the murder of David Amess, he was sentenced to life in prison for “preparing acts of terrorism.”
He had considered killing other MPs and had wandered around Parliament armed with a knife last summer. He had conducted research on various elected officials and had visited several times near Minister Michael Gove’s home. Ali Harbi Ali was arrested a few minutes after the tragedy by two policemen armed only with batons and tear gas.
The UK has seen a number of jihadist knife attacks in recent years, some claimed by the Islamic State. No claims have been made public since Mr. Amess’s death.
A month after the death of Mr. Amess and the day after the explosion of a taxi outside a hospital in Liverpool (northern England), considered by the police to be an attack, the government had taken note ” grave “ the level of terrorist threat on British soil. It has since been demoted to ” important “.