Ali Harbi Ali is accused of stabbing David Amess, a 69-year-old Conservative MP and father of five, on October 15, while he was talking to his constituents at a Methodist church in Leigh-on. Sea, about 60 kilometers east of London. He is also accused of preparing acts of terrorism between May 1, 2019 and September 28, 2021.
The young man appeared on Tuesday in the Old Bailey court in London, which is trying criminal cases.
During a 30-minute hearing, Ali Harbi Ali, who was dressed in a blue hoodie and gray jogging pants, his arms crossed and his face covered with a mask, did not ‘is expressed only to confirm his identity and indicated that he was pleading not guilty.
He has been remanded in custody pending trial which is due to start on March 21.
Arrested at the scene of the murder, Ali Harbi Ali was born and raised in London to a family of Somali descent. He had, according to British media, briefly followed a program to fight radicalization, without being considered at risk by the security services.
The police had mentioned
a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism, while the prosecution had reported
both religious and ideological motivations.
Numerous attacks and threats
The UK has seen several jihadist knife attacks in recent years, some claimed by the Islamic State armed group. No claims have been made public since the death of David Amess.
A month after the latter’s murder and the day after a taxi exploded in front of a Liverpool hospital, considered by the police to be an attack, the government had reported to
serious the level of the terrorist threat on British soil.
The murder of David Amess, MP since 1983, rekindled the trauma of the assassination of Labor elected official Jo Cox in June 2016.
The 41-year-old MP was shot and stabbed to death by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair, 53, a week before Britain’s referendum on EU membership.
These two tragedies have sparked calls to strengthen the security of elected officials and to calm an electricity political debate in recent years, especially since the discussions around Brexit.
After the murder of David Amess, his family called for
put aside hatred and work for unity, stressing that the deputy was a
man of peace.
Several of his parliamentary colleagues have said that they have received death threats which have made some of them consider leaving politics.
In Ireland, a Briton was charged in early November after being arrested by police and
suspected of making threats against a person outside this jurisdiction. According to the media, he had threatened a deputy from his country with death.