Counter-terror officers are searching an address in south London where the suspected killer of MP Sir David Amess reportedly spent his childhood.
Sir David, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday afternoon (October 15) when he was stabbed multiple times in a frenzied attack.
The man arrested at the scene on suspicion of his murder, named as 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali, grew up in Croydon, Mail Online reports. He is a British national with Somali heritage.
Police are currently searching his childhood home, which he reportedly left when he was 16 or 17, and a property in north west London. The search of another address in London is complete.
A neighbour told Mail Online: “He worked for the health service – he told me so – but in what capacity I don’t know.
“I think one of his sisters also works for the NHS. They are a lovely family
“His mum and sisters helped my wife and I during lockdown, they went and got my shopping when I needed it and my medication.
“They’d do anything to help us.”
After initially being arrest on suspicion of murder, Ali was detained under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He is in custody at a London police station.
A warrant of further detention, which allows detectives to hold the man until October 22, was granted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.
The investigation is assuming there was an Islamist extremist motivation for the attack, official sources said.
But it is understood the suspect was not, and had not previously been, a subject of interest for the security services.
According to reports, some sources have claimed the suspect has the same details as a man previously referred to Prevent, the anti-terror programme for those thought at risk of radicalisation. But there is yet to be any official confirmation of whether this is the case.
A post-mortem examination took place on Saturday, police said, but its findings have not yet been released.
Scotland Yard said the country’s most senior counter-terror officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, has formally declared the incident as terrorism and said early investigations have revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.
The attack came five-and-a-half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her Batley and Spen constituency in West Yorkshire.
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