- An Islamic State supporter has been convicted of killing British lawmaker David Amess.
- Ali Harbi had been sentenced his week for the murder.
- Amess was stabbed approximately 20 times.
A British judge on Wednesday sentenced Ali Harbi Ali, a member of the Islamic State group, to life in prison for the murder of MP David Amess in a stabbing attack last year.
“This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy,” Judge Nigel Sweeney said as he handed down his sentence at the Old Bailey courthouse in London, noting that the 26-year-old defendant did not had shown “no remorse or shame”.
Sweeney added he had no doubts it was an ‘exceptional case’ that deserved sentencing, which comes two days after a London jury unanimously found Ali guilty of the fierce attack with a knife last October.
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It is the second murder of a British MP in five years and has sparked calls for better security for elected officials.
Dressed in a collarless black robe and flanked by security guards, Ali pursed his lips briefly as the judge handed down his sentence.
He told the trial he had no regrets killing the father of five, Amess, in revenge for votes in parliament for airstrikes in Syria in 2014 and 2015.
Ali stabbed Amess more than 20 times with a foot-long carving knife as the Tory MP met constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, southeast England.
The life sentence means Ali will never be eligible for parole.
Ali, from north London, made an appointment with Amess, 69, telling the politician’s office that he was a medical professional and wanted to talk about local issues.
Ali, armed with a knife, was apprehended at the scene of the murder in a church by two police officers armed only with truncheons and aerosols.
He had sent a manifesto to his family and friends in an attempt to justify his actions at the time of the attack.
The court heard Ali said “sorry” to Amess before killing him, after which his assistant Julie Cushion said he seemed “satisfied with himself”.
Jurors were told Ali had no mental health issues and he accepted much of the evidence against him.
He became radicalized in 2014, abandoning his university studies, abandoning his career ambitions in medicine.
Ali, who comes from a Somali family and said he had a childhood “full of love and care”, considered going to Syria to fight but instead opted for an attack in Britain.
Six years ago, he bought a knife which he carried in his bag throughout the summer of 2021 as he “searched” for possible targets, jurors heard.
He explored parliament but found police “armed to the teeth” there, the court heard.
Ali researched other MPs online, including senior Tory Michael Gove.
He staked Gove’s home in London, but rejected plans to assassinate him after Gove separated from his wife and moved out of the family home.
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IS supporter sentenced to life in prison for killing David Amess – Reuters News in France and abroad