The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali has been charged with the murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess.
In a statement, Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division said they had authorised murder charges against Ali following the fatal attack on the Conservative MP in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday last week.
“We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations,” he said.
“He has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts. This follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.”
He added: “The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Ali are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
Amess had been an MP since 1983 and had represented Southend West since 1983.
In a statement, Matt Jukes, the Met police’s assistant commissioner for specialist operations said: “On behalf of everyone involved in counter terrorism and wider policing, I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David, who died so tragically last Friday.
“Sir David’s dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many have been abundantly clear since his death. Specialist officers continue to support Sir David’s family, and all of our sympathies are with them.
“I would also like to recognize the courage and professionalism of officers from Essex police and paramedics for their response to the incident.”
“As you know, last Friday, Sir David tragically died from serious injuries after being stabbed at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea. A man was arrested at the scene. Since then, the Met counter terrorism command has led the investigation.
“A large team of detectives have been working around the clock to find out as much as we can about what happened and why. That work has included searches of a number of London addresses. Our advanced forensic teams have analyzed digital devices and carried out a painstaking review of CCTV footage.
He added: “As a result of all of that work, today, we have reached a significant milestone. Following the submission of a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, charges have been authorized.
“Ali Harbi Ali, aged 25, and from north London has been charged with murder and the preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Ali remains in custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court this afternoon.”
Jukes said further work was being done around MPs security following the incident, adding: “I fully understand the significant impact that the attack on Sir David has had on his colleagues in the Houses of Parliament.
“We have been working with Parliament’s own security team and the Home Office to review existing arrangements for MPs security, and that work will continue.”