News & Politics

British Police Call Murder of Conservative MP a 'Terrorist Act'

David Amess (Official portrait)

A 25-year-old British national of Somali descent is being held in connection with the murder of British member of parliament David Amess. Amess was meeting with constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles east of London when the terrorist attacked and stabbed him multiple times.

Mr. Amess died at the scene.

It was the second fatal attack on a member of Parliament in the UK in recent years. At the height of the debate over the referendum on Great Britain leaving the EU, pro-Remain MP Jo Cox was slain outside a library where she was about to hold a meeting with constituents.

There was also a fatal attack by terrorists outside of the Parliament building on Westminister Bridge. A car plowed into several civilians, killing three and injuring 40. A lone ISIS terrorist attacked and killed a police officer guarding the Parliament building.

There is concern among MPs that a security review for members of Parliament ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson could lead to restricting the movements of members.

Wall Street Journal:

The issue of lawmakers’ security has long been a serious concern in the U.K. In the aftermath of Ms. Cox’s murder and amid high tensions over the Brexit vote, a number of lawmakers expressed concern at threats they were receiving from voters.

But in-person meetings between lawmakers and their constituents are considered a cornerstone of Britain’s political process. Mr. Amess’s last tweet was to publicize a public meeting he planned to hold with locals at the Belfairs Methodist Church in a district of Southend, Leigh-on-Sea.

The BBC reports that the terrorist was not on any list of threats.

The Met said officers are carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area and are not seeking anyone else over the death.

The force believes the man, who is in custody in Essex, acted alone but inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are continuing.

Government sources have told the BBC he is a British national who, from initial inquiries, appears to be of Somali heritage.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner reports Whitehall officials are saying the arrested man was not on a database of terror suspects.

The police aren’t looking for anyone else but are searching two addresses? Authorities are saying that “The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.” For the actions of a “lone wolf,” they are throwing an enormous amount of resources into the investigation.

There’s no public suggestion from investigations at the moment that there is a specific additional threat to MPs – but detectives and colleagues in MI5 will be delving deeply into the life of the suspect to understand how he reached this mindset and whether this was an attack by a “lone actor” or someone who is part of a network.

Secondly, it confirms the initial conclusion that there would need to be more resources thrown at the investigation.

By all reports, David Amess was a quiet, unassuming, kindly man who loved animals and for years championed the erection of a statue of Raoul Wallenberg in London.

The statue was finally erected in 2016. It’s good that Amess lived long enough to see it. But did his advocacy for honoring the memory of the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from certain death during the Holocaust cost him his life?