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Terrorist assassin sentenced ‘to die in prison’ for murder of MP

29th Apr 2022
Terrorist assassin sentenced ‘to die in prison’ for murder of MP

Conservative MP Sir David Amess (L) was murdered by Ali Harbi Ali on October 15, 2021 (Commons/Police)

Hamed Chapman

Ali Harbi Ali has been handed a whole-life tariff after being convicted at the Old Bailey court for murdering Conservative MP Sir David Amess while he was holding a surgery at his constituency in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, last October.

Mr Justice Sweeney said the case was of such exceptional seriousness that a rare whole-life order, which means 26-year-old Ali is likely to die in prison, was merited. He also received a life sentence for the planning of attacks on other MPs, including the Cabinet Minister, Michael Gove.

“This was a murder that struck at the heart of our democracy,” the judge proclaimed, describing the evidence as overwhelming. The jury at the Old Bailey took less than 20 minutes to convict the defender, who had once wanted to be a doctor.

The family of Amess made a plea for greater kindness in society after what they called an ‘beyond evil’ attack. “We will struggle through each day for the rest of our lives. Our last thought before sleep will be of David. We will forever shed tears for the man we have lost. We shall never get over this tragedy,” his wife and five children said in a statement.

The judge said that Ali, who was from north London, had read extensive online Islamic State propaganda and answered their call for lone-wolf attacks. “Sir David was a man of the greatest substance. He had done nothing whatsoever to justify the attack upon him, let alone his murder,” the judge added.

Amess, 69, served as an MP for 38 years, most prominently as a backbencher and as an active member of many select committees while sponsoring several pieces of legislation. He was known for his socially conservative views and being from the right-wing of the party.

The assassination was widely condemned, including by Muslim leaders in his constituency and across the UK. A joint statement issued by all of Southend’s mosques branded the killing as “brutal and senseless,” saying the killing was “an indefensible atrocity” committed in the name of “blind hatred and we look forward to the perpetrator being brought to justice.”

After the conviction, former Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, took the opportunity to immediately call for an extensive toughening up of the Government’s discredited Prevent Extremism programme, which is currently being reviewed amid frequent calls for it to be at least reformed, if not scrapped.

“If Prevent is to succeed, it must be focused on the greatest risk to life, without fear of appearances. It cannot afford to be passive, and it needs to place the police and the security services in the driving seat,” Jenrick said in an article for the Daily Telegraph.

“We are doing the victims of extremism a colossal disservice by glossing over what really happened and failing to embark on the serious and sustained programme of work required to address it. Extremism of any kind, and certainly Islamist extremism, is a cancer that grows in our society. We must acknowledge it and summon the strength to fight it.”

The former Cabinet Minister pointed out that of the 11 most recent terrorist attackers, six have been referred to Prevent. These included Ali, who had been referred to the programme but was determined not to pose a significant risk after one meeting.

“While the far-right and Islamist extremists may despise our values in equal measure, it is irresponsible to draw equivalence in the cumulative threat their ideologies pose. Islamist extremists make up three-quarters of offenders in prison for terror-related crimes, but only 24 percent of all Prevent referrals and 30 percent of Channel (the next level) cases,” Jenrick said.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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