Dad rocked as son tied to MP's killing

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 18 Oct 2021

The father of a man held for the fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker during a meeting with local voters has told media that he was shocked and "traumatized'' by his son's arrest as police continued questioning under terrorism laws.

Harbi Ali Kullane, a former adviser to Somalia's prime minister, said counter-terrorism police had visited him.

"I'm feeling very traumatized. It's not something that I expected or even dreamed of," the Sunday Times newspaper quoted him as saying:

While authorities have not released the name of the suspect in the killing of 69-year-old Conservative MP David Amess on Friday, he is known to be Ali Harbi Ali, 25, a British citizen.

Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was stabbed multiple times during a meeting with constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, about 60 kilometers east of London.

Police said early investigations suggested "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

And the suspect was some years ago referred to a government program aimed at preventing people from backing extremism.

Many in the seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea have laid flowers in tribute to Amess, a father of five who has served in parliament since 1983 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2015.

Friday's killing renewed concern about the risks politicians run as they go about their work. The attack came five years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her Yorkshire constituency.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said authorities are reviewing security arrangements for MPs, including police protection during regular meetings between them and constituents.

But Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, said "we should not hide away."

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