UK counter-terrorism police have officially declared the stabbing of British lawmaker Sir David Amess a terrorist act.
“Early investigation has uncovered a possible motive linked to Islamic extremism,” according to a statement from Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard on Friday. Authorities said they believed the suspect acted alone and they “are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident at this time. However, investigations into the circumstances are ongoing, “the statement added.
Amess, a member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, died after being stabbed several times at an election in east London.
The 69-year-old Member of Parliament, who represented Southend West in Essex, was attacked around noon on Friday by a man who entered a meeting with voters from his constituency that was being held at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea. . “He was treated by emergency services but, unfortunately, died at the scene,” Essex police said.
“A 25-year-old man was arrested shortly after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was found.” The man arrested on suspicion of killing Amess is believed to be a British national of Somali descent, official sources told the UK’s national news agency, PA Media, formerly known as the Press Association.
The UK Counter-Terrorism Command will lead the investigation into the killing, police said on Friday. “It will be up to investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident. But as always, they will have an open mind, “Ben-Julian Harrington, Essex police chief, told reporters.
The assassination was another grim moment in British political history. This marks the second assassination of a British lawmaker in office in five years, after Labor MP Jo Cox was assassinated in her constituency in 2016, and has resumed discussions on the safety of elected UK officials. The country’s political, religious and social leaders and his royal family all condemned the attack and paid tribute to Amess.
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