Son of former Somali political adviser detained for stabbing UK lawmaker


NAIROBI / LONDON, October 17 (Reuters) – Ali Harbi Ali, the son of a former media adviser to a former Somali prime minister, has been arrested by British police under anti-terrorism laws following the murder of lawmaker David Amess, according to a source close to the investigation and the British media.

Amess, 69, of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, was stabbed multiple times while meeting with constituency voters at a church on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, east London.

The murder took place five years after the murder of Jo Cox, an opposition Labor MP, and sparked a safety review from politicians.

Police said they arrested a 25-year-old Briton on suspicion of murder at the scene and said they believed he acted alone. They did not name the suspect but used additional powers under anti-terrorism laws to detain him until October 22.

A British source close to the investigation named Ali Harbi Ali, a British citizen, as a detained suspect.

People light candles during a vigil for British MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death during a meeting with voters, at Belfairs Park in Leigh-on-Sea, Britain on October 16 2021. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

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Harbi Ali Kullane, father of Ali Harbi Ali, told the Sunday Times that his son was arrested in connection with the murder.

“At this particular moment, we are going through (an) unprecedented and horrific situation,” Harbi Ali Kullane, former adviser to Hassan Ali Khaire, former Somali prime minister, told Reuters in an email questioned about it.

“Due to the ongoing preliminary investigation, I am obliged and ordered not to talk about it,” said Harbi Ali Kullane, former director of the Somali government’s media and communication department.

British police were looking for an address in north London linked to Ali Harbi Ali on Sunday, Reuters reporters said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Sunday Britain was considering a number of options to bolster the security of lawmakers.

Reporting by Nazanine Moshiri in Nairobi and Guy Faulconbridge in London Additional reporting by Costas Pitas Editing by Alex Richardson and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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