Islamic State fanatic Ali Harbi Ali, the terror suspect has been found guilty of stabbing British MP, Sir David Amess to death and plotting to attack other MPs including Michael Gove – with the jury taking just 18 minutes to reach its verdict.
The 26-year-old carried out the ‘cold and calculating’ murder at the veteran MP’s constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year.
London-born Ali will be sentenced on Wednesday for murder and preparing acts of terrorism.
The school drop-out secretly plotted his murderous act of terrorism for many years despite being referred to Prevent.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Sir David Amess was a beloved colleague, public servant, and friend who championed the city of Southend in everything he did.
‘My thoughts today remain with Julia, the Amess family and all those who knew and loved him.’
Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox, said Ali’s crimes had only achieved a much wider awareness of the ‘decency’ of Sir David and the causes he championed.
In a statement on Twitter, he said: ‘The terrorist who killed Sir David Amess has been found guilty of his murder. There was no other possible verdict. Like the killing of Jo, all it has achieved politically has been to allow millions of people to learn about David’s decency & the causes he cared about.
‘The terrorist will rot in jail and die in ignominy. David’s name will be remembered, especially by the people of Southend who he served.
‘Terrorists may cite different ideologies. But what unites them is their desire for infamy, their cowardly attacks on the unarmed and the total failure to advance their cause. All of my thoughts & love are with David’s family today.’
In response to the guilty verdict, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey tweeted: ‘Good. Justice delivered though we will never have Sir David back.’
Ali told the trial he had no regrets about the murder, defending his actions by saying Sir David deserved to die because he had voted in Parliament for airstrikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015.
The court heard that Ali became known to authorities around this time as his school performance plunged and he was referred to the Government’s Prevent strategy, but continued plotting in secret.
The so-called ‘lone wolf’ sent a manifesto on WhatsApp to family and friends seeking to justify his actions around the time of the attack and told Sir David he was ‘sorry’ before plunging the knife into him, causing the politician to scream.
The Tory backbencher died at the scene.
Knife-wielding Ali was later apprehended by two police officers armed only with batons and spray. They have since been handed bravery awards.
Essex Police Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: ‘They’ve basically gone in armed with a stick – something that appears smaller than a deodorant can – to deal with a man that has just committed an absolutely heinous act, still armed with that knife.
‘I think it’s an astounding act of bravery.’
Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC said the murder was ‘the most appalling tragedy’, particularly for the Amess family, and an ‘attack on democracy’.
He said: ‘I’m obviously pleased that at the end of what must have been a very difficult trial for Sir David Amess’s family, justice has been served and this individual will now pay the price for his crimes.’
The court heard that ‘model student’ Ali had become self-radicalised in 2014, going on to drop out of university, abandoning ambitions for a career in medicine.