A jury deliberated for just 18 minutes on Monday before convicting a staunch Islamic State supporter of stabbing British lawmaker David Amess to death in a murder that has shocked the nation and sparked calls for increased police protection for The politicians.
Ali Harbi Ali, 26, was found guilty by the Central Criminal Court in London of murder and preparation of terrorist acts. Ali stabbed the veteran British lawmaker to death last year as he met voters at a church hall in the east of England.
Ali, who had spent years researching and planning potential attacks on lawmakers, had defended his actions by saying Amess deserved to die after voting for airstrikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015. ISIS is a group militants fighting to establish an Islamic state. .
Ali, a Somali-born Londoner, had denied the charges of murder and planning terrorism.
Opening the trial, prosecutor Tom Little said the case was “nothing less than an assassination” perpetrated because of a “distorted, twisted and violent ideology”.
“It was a murder committed by this young man who for many years had planned such an attack and who was, and is, a committed, fanatical and radicalized Islamist terrorist,” he said.
Little said Ali purchased the knife used to attack Amess five years earlier, and that Ali tricked himself into meeting Amess by posing as one of his constituents.
Amess, 69, had been an MP since 1983. He was pronounced dead at the scene after being stabbed.
The prosecutor also said Ali had researched and planned attacks on lawmakers and the parliament building since at least 2019. The searches included reconnaissance trips targeting the work and home addresses of two other lawmakers, Mike Freer and Member of the Michael Gove firm, he said.
Amess’ murder shook the nation, as lawmakers often meet directly with the public. It came five years after Labor Party lawmaker Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist.