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a radicalized man sentenced to life imprisonment

A man holds a portrait of Member of Parliament David Amess, at a memorial mass in his honor, in London, November 23, 2021.

A young supporter of the Islamic State group was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of British MP David Amess on Wednesday, April 13. The death of this member of the Conservative Party, veteran of the House of Commons, elected without interruption in Essex (east of London) since 1983, deeply moved the United Kingdom, where parliament is still the bedrock of democracy. causes.

by condemning Ali Harbi Ali, 26 years oldNigel Sweeney, a judge at the Old Bailey Criminal Court in London, said he did not ” doubtless “ on the need to sentence him to life in prison – an extremely rare sentence in the UK – for the knife murder of elected officials during parliamentary permanence on 15 October. “This is a murder that struck the heart of our democracy”said Mr. Sweeney.

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“Act of Revenge”

Prosecutor Tom Little had pointed out that the murder of Mr. Amess was a… “act of revenge”premeditated “long time” and affect an elected officer carrying out his mission.

Ali Harbi Ali, born and raised in London to a family of Somali descent, was found guilty on Monday of murder and preparing terrorist acts. The young man pleaded not guilty but said at a hearing last week that he assaulted the 69-year-old elected official for voting for airstrikes in Syria.

Frustrated at not going to fight with IS in Syria himself, the suspect told himself he had to “try to do something here to help Muslims there”

The attack took place while Mr Amess was receiving voters at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, 60 kilometers east of London. The conservative elected had been stabbed twenty times.

His assistant, Julie Cushion, said in a statement she couldn’t “never forget the cry” from his colleague Barbara at the time of the attack. She also described the look “happy and smug” of the aggressor after the tragedy. “It breaks our hearts to know that our husband and father had to greet the killer with a friendly smile”David Amess’ family said in a statement.

Reviving the trauma of Jo Cox’s murder

The death of David Amess, elected since 1983, had reinvigorated the trauma of the June 2016 assassination of Labor elected Jo Cox. This 41-year-old MP had been killed by several bullets and stab wounds a week before the British referendum on membership. of the European Union.

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These two tragedies have sparked calls in recent years to bolster the security of elected officials and calm an electric political debate, especially since the exchanges surrounding Brexit.

Ali Harbi Ali had briefly gone through a program against radicalization, according to British media, without being considered a danger by the security services. In addition to serving his full life sentence for the murder of David Amess, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for “preparing acts of terrorism”.

He had contemplated killing other MPs and had sneaked around parliament armed with a knife last summer. He had researched several elected officials and made several visits near Secretary Michael Gove’s home. Ali Harbi Ali was arrested minutes after the tragedy by two police officers armed only with batons and tear gas.

The UK has seen several jihadist knife attacks in recent years, some claimed by IS. No claims have been made public since Mr. amess.

A month after the death of Mr Amess and the day after a taxi exploded outside a hospital in Liverpool (Northern England), which police considered an attack, the government had noted that ” severe “ the level of terrorist threat on British soil. He has since been demoted to “important”

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Le Monde and AFP

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