Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The terror suspect arrested after the assassination of Conservative MP Sir David Amess is the son of a former senior Somali government official, Sky News understands.

Ali Harbi Ali’s father, Harbi Ali Kullane, declined to comment when Sky News asked about his son, a 25-year-old British citizen, in an exchange of written messages on Saturday other than to say he was “traumatized”

A Sky News correspondent who knocked on an address in London where he is believed to be staying did not receive a response Sunday morning.

Sir David Amess killings – live updates

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Sir David Amess: A life in politics

However, two police officers then arrived at the property and were let in.

The father was quoted in The Sunday Times as confirming that his son was in custody and said: “I’m not OK. I’m traumatized … This has nothing to do with my work for the Somali government.”

Kullane previously worked as communications director in the office of the Prime Minister of Somalia.

But he is believed to have lived in the UK for the past three years.

He has an active profile on social media, where his Twitter feed shows great interest in the UK, including posts about Liverpool Football Club, the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Brexit.

The father also posted messages of sympathy in June 2016 following the assassination of Labor MP, Jo Cox, writes: “#RIPJoCox ruined by the loss of a vote from the representative, my sympathy with her two children and family.”

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Priti Patel: ‘We need to close any security holes’

He seemed to have a good relationship with the British Embassy in Somalia.

A number of his tweets included photographs of British diplomats in Mogadishu.

Ali Harbi Ali was arrested on the spot on Friday the attack at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Sir David, MP for Southend West, had held his weekly constituency operation.

He was previously referred to the government’s prevention scheme, which is a program to stop radicalization, a Whitehall source said.

However, he is not believed to have been on the radar of the security service, MI5.

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Leaders unite to pay tribute to Sir David

He was originally arrested on suspicion of murder and has since been detained under terrorism laws.

Scotland Yard said the unnamed suspect has been transferred from a police station in Essex to one in London for further questioning.

Detectives have been allowed to detain him until next Friday.

Investigators have said they are not looking for others in connection with Sir David’s death, which has triggered a debate on the security of Members of Parliament and if more needs to be done to protect them.

Minister of the Interior Priti Patel has told Sky News that MPs can get police protection while performing circuit operations.

In a speech to Trevor Phillips on Sunday, the cabinet minister also did not rule out banning anonymity on social media in an attempt to tackle “relentless” online abuse.

A condolence statement signed by many Somali organizations and community leaders has said they were “shocked and saddened by the senseless violence perpetrated against an innocent MP”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those expressing “shock and grief” after the death of Sir David.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer attended the killing scene on Saturday to show their respect.

The father of five had been a Member of Parliament for 38 years, and although he never had a ministerial role, he was known as a tireless constituency campaign, including his long-standing bid to get Southend appointed to a city.

Sky News understands that Labor, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party will not field candidates to contest the Southend West by-elections.

It follows the precedent set after the assassination of Mrs Cox in 2016, in which Labor’s Tracy Brabin was the only regular candidate.

The great debate discusses the hostility of politics

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