Police search for motive in the killing of two British lawmakers

Police search for motive in the killing of two British lawmakers ...

Police searched for clues about what might have motivated a 25-year-old British man of Somali heritage, the suspect in the brutal killing of britains conservative party lawmaker during heiressing with his constituents that has shaken Britain s political establishment on Sunday.

Scotland Yard has yet to name the suspect, though British news organizations, such as the BBC, have identified him as Ali Harbi Ali. Harbi Ali Kullane, Alis father, told The Times of London that his son was being held in custody and described himself as very traumatized by the accusations.

Kullane, who once worked as an adviser to Somalias prime minister, said in an interview with The Times, It isnt something I expected or even imagined of.

Ali had been referred to a government initiative known as Prevent, which aims to prevent people from being drawn to extremist ideas on social media, according to the BBC. According to the broadcaster, however, his name has not been included on any terrorism watch lists.

The Metropolitan Police said Saturday that they had been granted a warrant under the Terrorism Act to keep the suspect in detention for six extra days in connection with the killing of the lawmaker, David Amess, on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, England.

Police in North London guarded a red-brick row house on tangled street where the suspect is believed to live with his family on Sunday. It was one of three addresses in London being searched by police.

In the second-floor apartment, three young men and a woman lived, according to Tilly Gerrard, whose neighbor lives nearby. She described them as a neighborly presence in napolitan village where most residents recognize one another and that recently hosted supper on the street.

The sudden and extremely public nature of the attack evoked memories of previous lone-wolf attacks that rattled Britain. Last year, an extremist stabbed pedestrians on a busy London street, and in 2019, he went on an attempted stabbing spree on London Bridge before being shot and killed by police.

The attack on Friday differed from those on Saturday in that, according to reports, the assailant did not harm anyone else in the room, waited for police to arrive and arrest him, and did nothing to confront the officers.

David Videcette, a former counterterrorism detective at Scotland Yard, said: It doesnt feel like anything weve seen before.

Teachers, health workers, and others may notify police of potentially radicalized individuals under the Prevent program, which allows them to determine if to intervene. The program is voluntary and does not produce a legal record.

Political leaders expressed outrage over the attack, but insisted that it should not threaten a long tradition of access and face-to-face contact with members of Parliament that is deeply rooted in Britains political system.

Gordon Brown, a former premier, said Sunday in an interview with Sky News that this is an attack on democracy, and the answer cannot be less democracy.

Still, the killing, at noon and in full public view, has rekindled concerns about the safety of members of Parliament, who routinely make themselves available to constituents at monthly meetings that are advertised in advance and that can quickly become heated when voters show up with complaints lists.

Two more legislators have been attacked at such meetings in less than a decade. Jo Cox, a Labour Party lawmaker, died after being shot and stabbed by 'right-wing extremist' just days before the 2016 referendum. Stephen Timms, a Labour lawmaker, was seriously injured after being stabbed in the abdomen by an Islamic extremist in 2010.

Priti Patel, Britain's home secretary, said the government will review security measures for lawmakers, especially as they relate to constituent meetings, known as surgeries, as the term implies. However, she cautioned that these measures should not prevent voters from having face-to-face contact with their elected representatives.

Were here to serve wer here so we can be accessible to the British public, Patel told the BBC in an interview.

Members of the public are usually asked to sign up in advance for surgeries, and reports claim the suspect had done so before Fridays meeting, which was held in a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Patel told Sky News that the government would consider tightening laws on social media to reduce abusive behavior, including by removing the right of people to post material anonymously.

Residents expressed surprise about why someone would target a legislator in niagara, which is about 40 miles away. One man who passed by the street said his younger brother had attended primary school with the suspect and was shocked to hear the reports.

The motive for targeting Amess, who was 69, was unclear. A soft-spoken, well-liked backbencher in the House of Commons, he was well known for his unwavering support of Brexit and his advocacy for animal welfare.

A Catholic and social conservative, Amess was a strong supporter of Israel and of an Iranian opposition group, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, which campaigns for the overthrow of Irans government.

On Sunday evening, Amess family said in a statement that they are trying to figure out why this horrible event has happened. Nobody should die in such a way. Nobody.

We are absolutely broken," it continued, but we will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man.

In Londons close-knit Somali community, reports of the attack caused shock and unease, with some people expressing concern about a backlash. Though many Somali immigrants were forced from their homes by the country's civil war in the 1990s, the origins of the community in Britain date back generations.

Kahiye Alim, the director of the Council of Somali Organizations, said, Its very much people that are born and raised here, and that s because of Kaheyi Alism's work as the umbrella group'' a Somali organization director.

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