Man accused of murdering Tory MP ‘surveilled’ Finchley and Golders Green MP Freer

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Man accused of murdering Tory MP ‘surveilled’ Finchley and Golders Green MP Freer

Ali Harbi Ali - suspected of killing Sir David Amess in 2021 - made ‘specific reconnaissance trips’ to constituency surgery of Mike Freer and Michael Gove's home, jury told

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The man suspected of killing politician David Amess (left) is accused of scouting the constituency office of Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer
The man suspected of killing politician David Amess (left) is accused of scouting the constituency office of Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer

The man accused of murdering the veteran Conservative politician Sir David Amess turned up at a constituenct surgery hosted by Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer just one month before the attack, a court has heard.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, denies the murder of the former Southend West MP on 15 October, 2021 as he held a constituency surgery in a church in Essex.

Opening the case before the jury at the Old Bailey on Monday, Prosecutor Tom Little QC said Amess was  “assassinated” by a “committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist”, who stabbed him to death in an apparent attempt to avenge the bombing of Syria.

The QC also said that Ali carried out research on Freer, who became an MP in 2010, as well as visiting the Wikipedia pages of Dominic Raab, Sir Keir Starmer and Ben Wallace.

The jury was told that the suspect also visited the home of Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to carry out “specific reconnaissance trips.”

Little told the court the suspect 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.”

The jury was told Sir David was fatally attacked by Ali, who tricked his way into a face-to-face meeting with the 69-year-old before sending a message to friends and family claiming the attack was “revenge … in the name of Allah”.

Father-of-five Sir David suffered 21 stab wounds to his face, torso, left arm and right thigh, and had injuries to both hands consistent with defensive injuries when he was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on 15 October, 2021.

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

The court heard that Ali had lied when he emailed to request an appointment with Sir David, claiming he was moving into the area.

QC Little told jurors that Ali appeared “relaxed and chatty” as he walked over to Sir David just before he “brutally” stabbed him shortly after midday.

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

Meanwhile, Ali waved around a bloody carving knife with a 12-inch blade and said: “I killed him, I killed him.”

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, who said he was self-radicalised, 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.”

Little said two plain clothes officers, PC Scott James and PC Ryan Curtis, arrived on the scene armed only with a baton and incapacitant spray, and “bravely decided” to enter the building after hearing of Sir David’s injuries.

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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