Ali Harbi Ali: who is Sir David Amess’ killer, background of terrorist and what sentence was he given?

Ali Harbi Ali stabbed the MP more than 20 times

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A terrorist will never be released from prison after he was found guilty of murdering Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the Tory backbencher more than 20 times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year.

The Islamic State fanatic said he had no regrets about the “cold and calculating murder” and that Sir David deserved to die after voting for air strikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015.

He also plotted to attack other politicians including Michael Gove.

At the Old Bailey on Wednesday (13 April), he was given a whole-life prison term by Mr Justice Sweeney.

The judge told Ali: “The defendant has no remorse or shame for what he has done – quite the reverse.

“This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy.”

The sentencing comes after a jury took just 18 minutes to find Ali guilty of murder and preparing for terrorist acts.

What happened to Sir David Amess?

Ali carried out research on a number of politicians before settling on Sir David, who he saw as an easy target after seeing an upcoming surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on Twitter.

He then made an appointment through the MP’s office to meet the Tory backbencher.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the Tory MP Sir David Amess more than 20 times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea (Met Police / PA)Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the Tory MP Sir David Amess more than 20 times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea (Met Police / PA)
Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the Tory MP Sir David Amess more than 20 times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea (Met Police / PA)

Ali lied and claimed that he was moving to the area and was interested in churches.

On October 15 last year, he was caught on CCTV as he made his way by foot and train to Essex.

He met Sir David at the constituency surgery and within minutes pulled out a 12 inch carving knife, stabbing the MP more than 20 times.

The terrorist said “sorry” before attacking him, causing the politician to scream.

Sir David died at the scene.

The terrorist also threatened to kill the MP’s two aides and a couple who had arrived for an appointment.

Sir David’s assistant Julie Cushion told jurors he appeared “self-satisfied” in the wake of the killing.

Two police officers - armed only with batons and spray - managed to apprehend the killer.

Essex Police Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow praised his officers’ “astounding bravery” in tackling Ali.

He said: “They’ve basically gone in armed with a stick – something that appears smaller than a deodorant can – to deal with a man that has just committed an absolutely heinous act, still armed with that knife.

“I think it’s an astounding act of bravery.”

Speaking to police officers after the murder, he said that Sir David immediately suspected a “sting”.

The MP has previously been duped into talking about a fake drug “cake” in the television series Brass Eye.

He went on: “I felt like one minute I was sat down at the table talking to him and the next he was, sort of, dead.

“But, yeah, it’s probably one of the strangest days… of my life now, y’know?”

He also spoke calmly about his terror plot and admitted allegiance to so-called Islamic State.

Before the brutal attack, Ali had sent a manifesto on WhatsApp to family and friends seeking to justify the attack.

Sir David was killed five years after Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox was murdered in her constituency.

Who is Ali Harbi Ali?

London-born Ali became self-radicalised in 2014 and then dropped out of university, abandoning ambitions for a career in medicine.

He comes from an influential Somali family and said that he had a childhood “full of love and care”.

Ali considered travelling to Syria to fight for IS in 2019 but instead opted for an attack in Britain.

He bought a £20 knife six years ago and carried it in his bag throughout the summer of 2021 as he “scoped out” possible targets.

He even carried out reconnaissance on the Houses of Parliament but found police there “armed to the teeth”.

The terrorist carried out online research on a number of MPs, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

He also staked out the west London home of Levelling Up Secretary Mr Gove six times.

Ali wrote detailed notes of how he might get to him, including possibly bumping into him jogging, ringing his doorbell and causing a scene to “lure” him out.

However, he rejected the plan when Mr Gove moved out of the home after he split up with his wife.

He was later to tell police: “It was… so convenient to go to that address but I just, I don’t know why I didn’t do that one.”

Ali, from Kentish Town, north London, was also spotted lurking outside Finchley MP Mike Freer’s constituency office.

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