Questions are pouring in about the man who fatally stabbed British MP David Amess on Friday. Police said late Saturday, October 16, investigators have until next Friday to question the suspect, a 25-year-old man, after taking him into custody under the terrorism law, allowing them to extend his detention.
The investigation reveals according to the first elements “A potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”, according to police, who said they were conducting searches at three addresses in the London area as part of a “Fast-paced investigation”.
The suspect invited to de-radicalize
Oriented several years ago to a UK program for people at risk of radicalization based on volunteering, according to the BBC, it would not have been very diligent and was never officially a “Subject of interest” for the national security agency.
The police and security services believe that the assailant acted alone and that he was “Self-radicalized”, according to Sunday Times. It could have been inspired by Al-Chabab, the Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia.
John Lamb, a local Conservative adviser, told British media outlets that the young man waited patiently for his turn before pouncing on the MP and repeatedly stabbing him in front of two MP’s assistants.
“I was told he stabbed Sir David and just waited in the church hall until the police arrived”, told the Telegraph Kevin Buck, Riding Association Vice President. He had made an appointment a week in advance, according to the Daily Mail.
An organized vigil
On Saturday evening, hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil at a sports field near the scene of the crime, observing a minute of silence in memory of the MP.
As a sign of unity, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer laid wreaths of flowers at the scene of the tragedy on Saturday morning. Boris Johnson left a message greeting a “Excellent parliamentarian and a much loved colleague and friend”.
Many people, including members of the Muslim community, came to lay bouquets of flowers and written tributes to the victim.
This murder revives the still recent trauma of the assassination of Labor MP Jo Cox in June 2016 and questions the security arrangements surrounding MPs, particularly in contact with the public in their constituencies.