British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Saturday laid flowers outside the church where a lawmaker was stabbed to death a day earlier, in what nation’s police say was a terrorist attack probably linked to Islamist extremism.
The attack on David Amess, from Johnson’s Conservative Party, comes five years after the murder of Jo Cox, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, and has prompted a review of the security of elected politicians. read more
Amess, 69, from Johnson’s Conservative Party was knifed repeatedly in the attack at about midday on Friday in the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, during a meeting with constituents.
The Metropolitan Police, whose counter-terrorism unit are leading the investigation of the incident, said in a statement obtained by Reuters, early on Saturday that they declared the fatal stabbing as a terrorist incident.
The early investigation has revealed a “potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the police added.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, and detectives said specialist counter-terrorism officers were leading the initial investigation.
“As part of the investigation, officers are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area and these are ongoing,” the police said, adding that it is believed that the suspect in custody acted alone.
According to a local media, Sky News, the arrested man was understood to be a British national of Somali heritage.
“To the memory of Sir David Amess MP, a fine parliamentarian and a much-loved colleague and friend,” Johnson said in a hand-written note placed in the flowers, adding in a Twitter post that his thoughts were with Amess’ family and friends.