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17th Oct 2021

Sir David Amess: Suspect named as police hold him under Terrorism Act

Steve Hopkins

Police have been granted permission to hold Ali Harbi Ali until Friday

The man arrested following the killing of MP Sir David Amess has been named as Ali Harbi Ali and is now being held under the Terrorism Act.

Police have until Friday to question the 25-year-old who is understood to have been previously referred to the Prevent scheme – which aims to stop people becoming radicalised – some years ago, but was never a person of interest to MI5, the BBC reported.

The broadcaster said the man was British but of Somali heritage.

Police earlier said they were treating the killing of Sir David as terrorism and were looking into a potential link to Islamist extremism.

Sir David, who was married and had four daughters and a son, was stabbed multiple times as he held a regular Friday meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea around midday. He had been the Conservative MP for Southend West since 1983.

Ali was initially arrested on suspicion of murder and held at an Essex police station, but has since been transferred to London where he was further detained under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

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On Saturday, magistrates granted police a warrant to hold Ali in custody until 22 October.

In a statement, the Met said officers spent Saturday searching three addresses in the London area.

A post-mortem examination also took place.

A candlelit vigil was held in Leigh-on Sea for Sir David on Saturday night.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said security measures were being put in place to protect MPs – but insisted they would carry on serving the country unimpeded.

Sir David’s killing follows that of Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016.