Terror suspect’s family have been left ‘traumatised’ by arrest

·2-min read

The father of the man suspected of killing Sir David Amess said he had been left traumatised by his son’s arrest. 

Ali Harbi Ali was arrested on Friday after the veteran Tory MP was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex.

His father, Harbi Ali Kullane, is a former adviser to the prime minister of Somalia and confirmed to the Sunday Times that he had been visited by anti-terror police from Scotland Yard.

“I’m feeling very traumatised,” he said.

“It’s not something that I expected or even dreamt of.”

Mr Ali has been detained under the Terrorism Act and police have until Friday to charge him or let him go after being granted an extension at Westminster Magistrates Court. 

The Met confirmed that the early investigation has revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.

Mr Ali was known to the government’s Prevent programme.

With an annual budget of around £40 million, the Prevent scheme aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Watch: Police search house linked to UK lawmaker stabbing

It was launched after public bodies were placed under a statutory duty in 2015 to stop people being drawn into terrorism.

Anyone concerned that someone they know might be at risk can refer them.

Police believe Ali was acting alone and are investigating whether he was radicalised in lockdown. 

On Saturday Father Jeffrey Woolnough, a close friend of Sir David’s who is a devout Catholic, said police stopped him from reading the MP his last rites. 

Father Woolnough, from St Peter’s Catholic church, said he ran towards the scene at 1.45pm hoping to reach Sir David before he died. 

“I went running up the road with my holy oils,” he said. 

“He said ‘It’s a crime scene. You can’t go in. There’s evidence that needs to be collected.

“It’s very sad. It’s something that’s necessary in Catholic belief for the soul’s journey to God, to have those last prayers.”

Police searched three properties in London on Saturday, including Mr Ali’s home which is located in an upmarket park of north London popular with celebrities. 

Watch: Tributes Paid to Slain MP Amess at Southend Vigil

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