Father of suspect in UK lawmaker's slaying is 'traumatized'

  • Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack.

    Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. Associated Press

  • A photograph of member of Parliament David Amess is seen among the flower tribute near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    A photograph of member of Parliament David Amess is seen among the flower tribute near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • Police officers stand by the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    Police officers stand by the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • A man accompanies a child carrying flowers to be placed at a flower tribute at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    A man accompanies a child carrying flowers to be placed at a flower tribute at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • People gather during a candlelight vigil at Belfairs Recreation Ground near to Belfairs Methodist Church where Conservative MP Sir David Amess died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. The fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker has cast fresh doubt on the continued viability of what he had called 'úthe great British tradition'Ě of parliamentarians readily meeting voters. The regular and roving 'úsurgeries'Ě that British legislators hold for their constituents set them apart from lawmakers in other countries where the governed rarely - if ever - get to meet those who govern them. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

    People gather during a candlelight vigil at Belfairs Recreation Ground near to Belfairs Methodist Church where Conservative MP Sir David Amess died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. The fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker has cast fresh doubt on the continued viability of what he had called 'úthe great British tradition'Ě of parliamentarians readily meeting voters. The regular and roving 'úsurgeries'Ě that British legislators hold for their constituents set them apart from lawmakers in other countries where the governed rarely - if ever - get to meet those who govern them. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack.

    People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack. Associated Press

  • Police search a house believed to be in relation to the slaying of member of Parliament David Amess on Friday, in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday in Leigh-on-Sea of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

    Police search a house believed to be in relation to the slaying of member of Parliament David Amess on Friday, in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday in Leigh-on-Sea of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • British lawmakers Wes Streeting, left and Jas Athwal, right, leader of Redbridge Council, carry floral tributes to be laid near the Belfairs Methodist Church where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London.

    British lawmakers Wes Streeting, left and Jas Athwal, right, leader of Redbridge Council, carry floral tributes to be laid near the Belfairs Methodist Church where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London. Associated Press

  • Candles and a photo at a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    Candles and a photo at a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • People attend a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    People attend a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • People attend a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    People attend a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, Sunday Oct. 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack.

    Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. Associated Press

  • Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack.

    Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. Associated Press

  • Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack.

    Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. Associated Press

  • Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack.

    Police officers stand outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. Associated Press

  • Police erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

    Police erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • British lawmaker Mark Francois, is hugged by his companion after laying a floral tribute Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, close to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed on Friday during a meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England.

    British lawmaker Mark Francois, is hugged by his companion after laying a floral tribute Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, close to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed on Friday during a meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England. Associated Press

  • British lawmaker Mark Francois, with a companion, kisses his bunch of flowers flowers as he lays a floral tribute Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, close to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed on Friday during a meeting with constituents at the church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England.

    British lawmaker Mark Francois, with a companion, kisses his bunch of flowers flowers as he lays a floral tribute Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, close to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed on Friday during a meeting with constituents at the church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England. Associated Press

  • Police erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

    Police erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Leaders from across Britain's political spectrum have come together to pay tribute to a long-serving British lawmaker who was stabbed to death in what police have described as a terrorist attack. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • Floral tributes lie near to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents at the  Belfairs Methodist Church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London.

    Floral tributes lie near to where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London. Associated Press

  • A police officer stands guard by the Belfairs Methodist Church where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London.

    A police officer stands guard by the Belfairs Methodist Church where British lawmaker David Amess was killed Friday during a meeting with constituents, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was attacked during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London. Associated Press

  • A woman places flowers near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

    A woman places flowers near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where member of Parliament David Amess died after he was stabbed several times on Friday, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The slaying Friday of the 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess during his regular weekly meeting with local voters has caused shock and anxiety across Britain's political spectrum, just five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP) Associated Press

  • People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack.

    People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack. Associated Press

  • People gather at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack.

    People gather at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 to honor British Conservative lawmaker David Amess who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery on Friday. Leaders from across the political spectrum came together Saturday to pay their respects to Amess who was stabbed to death in what police say was a terrorist-related attack. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/17/2021 11:16 AM

LONDON -- The father of a man held for the fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker during a meeting with local voters has told British media that he was shocked and 'útraumatized'Ě by his son's arrest, as police continued questioning the suspect under terrorism laws.

Harbi Ali Kullane, a former adviser to Somalia's prime minister, said British counter-terrorism police had visited him, according to the Sunday Times.

 

'úI'm feeling very traumatized. It's not something that I expected or even dreamed of,'Ě he was quoted as saying.

British authorities have not released the name of the suspect in the killing of 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker David Amess Friday, but British media reported the suspect was Ali Harbi Ali, 25, believed to be a British citizen with Somali heritage.

Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was stabbed multiple times during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London. The Metropolitan Police has described the attack as terrorism and said early investigations suggested 'úa potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism," without giving details.

Police have been granted extra time to question the suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of murder but has not yet been charged. The BBC and others reported that the suspect was referred to a government program aimed at preventing people from supporting extremism some years ago, but said he was not a formal subject of interest for security services.

It is unclear what, if any, the suspect's connection to Amess was and why he targeted the lawmaker. The meeting with voters was public and open to all.

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In north London, police investigating the killing continued to search an apartment and another address, as officers stood guard outside.

Friday's killing renewed concern about the risks politicians run as they go about their work. The attack came five years after Labour lawmaker Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her constituency in West Yorkshire as she was on her way to a meeting with voters.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday that officials are reviewing security arrangements for lawmakers, and the measures being considered include police protection during regular meetings, known as 'úsurgeries," between lawmakers and their constituents. Lawmakers could also be asked to share their whereabouts at all times with police, she said.

But Patel added that she did not believe that the killing of Amess should change the relationship between lawmakers and their voters.

'úThis should never, ever break that link between an elected representative and their democratic role, responsibility and duty to the people who elected them," she told Sky News on Sunday.

Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said he was working closely with the Home Office and the police to identify ways to improve lawmakers' safety. But, like Patel, he said 'úwe should not hide away.'Ě

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

'úThe very essence of being an MP (Member of Parliament) is to help and be seen by our constituents. They are the people who elected us to represent them, so surely making ourselves available to them is the cornerstone of our democracy?'Ě Hoyle wrote in The Observer and Mail on Sunday newspapers.

Many in the seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea have laid flowers in tribute to Amess, a father of five who has served in parliament since 1983 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015. Floral wreaths and balloons piled up outside the police cordon near the church where Amess was stabbed, and a church service in the town is planned for later Sunday.

The Council of Somali Organizations, which works with Somali communities across the U.K., condemned the killing, saying it was an 'úaffront to all of our values and our democratic society itself.'Ě

The group's director, Kahiye Alim, said he believed that radicalization of young Somalis in Britain has not been a big concern. In recent years only a handful of people have gone from the U.K. to Somalia to join al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked extremist group, he said.

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