UK MP stabbing Member Once Referred to Counter-Terrorism Program

The perpetrators of the stabbing of British MPs were referred to the official counter-terrorist program for those suspected of being at risk of radicalization, according to various media reports.

Police said late Saturday (16/10) that investigators had until Friday, October 22, to question the suspect after he was detained under the Terrorism Act, which allows his detention to be extended.

Conservative MP David Amess, 69, was talking to supporters at a church in the small east London town of Leigh-on-Sea when he was stabbed to death Friday.

Police have said they are investigating “possible motives linked to Islamist extremism.” The investigation is being led by Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terrorism Command.

BBC said it had received confirmation from officials that the man’s name was Ali Harbi Ali.

Ali, a British citizen of Somali descent, was referred several years ago to Prevent, a British program for those suspected of being at risk of radicalization, reports say. BBC.

Ali is believed to have not spent long in the volunteer program. And he was never “suspected” by domestic security agency MI5, says the BBC.

Police and security services believe the perpetrators acted alone and were “self-radicalized,” reports say Sunday Times, while he may have been inspired by Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group in Somalia. [vm/ah]

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