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Sunday December 05, 2021

Police declare murder of UK MP a terrorist incident

By AFP
October 17, 2021

UNITED KINGDOM: The fatal stabbing of British lawmaker David Amess was a terrorist incident with possible links to Islamist extremism, police said on Saturday, as the government ordered a review of safety measures to protect MPs.

Veteran Conservative MP David Amess, 69, was talking with voters at a church in the small town of Leigh-on-Sea east of London when he was stabbed to death on Friday.

Police said they arrested a 25-year-old suspect and were investigating "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism"

The fatal stabbing has "been declared as a terrorist incident, with the investigation being led by Counter Terrorism Policing," the police said in a statement, adding that the investigation is in the "very early stages".

Multiple UK media outlets, citing sources, reported that the suspect was believed to be a British national with Somali heritage.

The Sun tabloid reported that the attacker stabbed Amess multiple times in the presence of two women staff, before sitting down and waiting for police to arrive.

Police said they believed the attacker acted alone and they carried out searches at two addresses in the London area.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the crime scene to pay his respects on Saturday, laying floral wreaths outside the church with the leader of the opposition, Labour leader Keir Starmer in a rare show of unity.

Johnson tweeted a photo of the note he left calling Amess, MP for Southend West since 1997, a "fine parliamentarian and a much loved colleague and friend".

Local residents including members of the Muslim community also came, heaping bouquets next to the police tape.