Ali Harbi Ali, 25 – who is accused of killing Sir David Amess – is reported to have been referred to the Prevent anti-extremism programme, which aims to stop people from going on to become terrorists
The man suspected of killing Sir David Amess attended an official course aimed at ‘de-radicalising’ him, according to reports.
Suspected lone-wolf terrorist Ali Harbi Ali is thought to have become radicalised online recently.
The 25-year-old is said to have previously been referred to an anti-extremism programme called Prevent, which aims to stop people from going on to become terrorists.
Detectives are probing whether he may have been inspired by al-Shabaab, an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Somalia and Kenya.
Ali’s father Harbi Ali Kullane, 61, a former communications advisor to the Prime Minister of Somalia, confirmed his son was in police custody.
Speaking at his sister’s home in North London, Mr Kullane said that counter-terrorism police from Scotland Yard had visited him.
Alamy Stock Photo)
The Daily Mail reports that the suspect had been referred to the Prevent programme over radicalisation fears by a ‘concerned member of the community.’
The referral was said to have led to him taking part in the course several years ago.
Despite this he was not said to have been investigated as a potential terror threat by officers.
Priti Patel has gone on to say that a review of Prevent would look at whether it was ‘fit for purpose’.
She said: “It’s right that we review what works, what doesn’t work, what needs bolstering if there are any gaps, all of that, because Prevent isn’t just about policing.
“Prevent is about how multi-agency partners come together.”
Meanwhile, the family of Sir David Amess have urged people to be tolerant and “set aside hatred” as counter-terrorism officers investigate the Conservative MP’s killing.
In a statement released through the Metropolitan Police, Sir David’s family said they are “absolutely broken” after he was attacked while meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday.
Paying tribute to the MP, who was married with four daughters and a son, the family said: “Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David. He was a patriot and a man of peace.
“So, we ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness.
“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.
“As a family, we are trying to understand why this awful thing has occurred. Nobody should die in that way. Nobody.”
Tributes have also flooded in from parliamentarians from across the political spectrum as well as constituents, and the family said these had given them “strength”.
“The family would like to thank everyone for the wonderful, wonderful tributes paid to David following his cruel and violent death. It truly has brought us so much comfort,” they said.
“The support shown by friends, constituents and the general public alike has been so overwhelming.”