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Ali Harbi Ali sits in the dock at the Old Bailey PA
on trial

‘Warped, twisted and violent’ terrorist assassinated Tory MP David Amess, court told

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, from north London, denies the allegations.

LAST UPDATE | 21 Mar 2022

A VETERAN CONSERVATIVE MP was “assassinated” by a “committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist”, who stabbed him to death in a church building while meeting with his constituents, a court heard.

David Amess was fatally attacked by Ali Harbi Ali, who tricked his way into a face-to-face meeting with the 69-year-old Southend West MP at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 2021.

Ali, 26, is accused of the “cold and calculated murder”, and carrying out reconnaissance over several years on targets including the Communities and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.

Tom Little QC, opening the case at the Old Bailey on Monday afternoon, told jurors: “This was nothing less than an assassination for terrorist purposes.

“It is a crime to which, we say, he has no defence.”

Mr Little said: “This is a case involving a cold and calculated murder, a murder carried out in a place of worship.

“A murder carried out because of a warped and twisted and violent ideology.

“It was a murder carried out by that young man (Ali) who for many years had been planning just such an attack and who was, and is, a committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist.”

Mr Little said the attack was “no spur-of-the-moment decision”, and said he bought the knife used to attack Amess five years earlier.

The prosecutor said: “He had for a number of years been determined to carry out an act of domestic terrorism.

“To that end, from at least May 2019 he researched and planned potential attacks on Members of Parliament and the Houses of Parliament.

“This included specific reconnaissance trips to a constituency surgery of Mike Freer MP and to the home address of Michael Gove MP.

“That researching and planning is the other offence he faces, namely preparing for acts of terrorism.

“To that offence he also has, we say, no defence.”

The court heard that Ali had lied when he emailed to request an appointment with Amess, claiming he was moving into the area and providing a postcode.

Mr Little told jurors that Ali appeared “relaxed and chatty” as he walked over to Amess just before he “brutally” stabbed him shortly after midday on October 15.

During the meeting, the defendant’s mobile made a sound, Ali said “sorry”, then pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Amess in a “vicious and frenzied attack”, Mr Little said.

Two people arriving for the next appointment heard the MP’s aides’ shouting: “Help me. He’s been stabbed. There’s a man with a knife.”

Meanwhile, Ali waved a bloody knife around and said: “I killed him, I killed him.”

Amess was lying unconscious and the defendant warned: “Don’t come anywhere near me. I will stab you.”

The pair offered to go and see Amess but Ali told them: “No, don’t come nearer. I’ll go and finish him off if he’s not dead.”

The defendant declared: “I want him dead. I want every Parliament Minister (sic) who signed up for the bombing of Syria who agreed to the Iraqi war to die.”

The defendant was then heard on the phone saying: “I’ve done it because of Syria. I’ve done it because of the innocent people. I’ve done it because of the bombing. He deserved to die.”

During a confrontation, Ali refused to drop his knife saying: “I want to be shot.”

He added: “I’m going to die. I want to die, I want to be a hero.”

Mr Little said that around the time of the murder, the defendant sent a long message to friends and family with a video relating to Raqqa in Syria.

Ali, of Kentish Town in north London, appeared in the dock wearing a black robe and black-rimmed glasses.

He denies murder and one count of preparing acts of terrorism.

The trial continues.

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