Sir David Amess: Unsettling CCTV footage captures terror suspect’s ‘journey to kill’


Ali Harbi Ali, 26, was filmed on CCTV walking the almost three mile trek from north London to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, before Sir David Amess was killed

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CCTV footage of terror suspect’s ‘journey to murder MP Sir David’

Murder trial jurors have been shown CCTV of a terror suspect’s journey to allegedly fatally stab Sir David Amess at a constituency appointment,.

Jurors at the trial were shown the footage, after the allegedly told the veteran MP’s aid: “I don’t think I’ll take too long.”

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, making the near-two-and-a-half hour trek from his home in north London.

He traveled along busy high streets and residential areas to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year.

Ali, wearing a long, khaki coat and with a black, backpack slung over his right shoulder, could be seen appearing to assist a fellow passenger with directions as he waited for his connection at Barking railway station, according to the footage.

The suspect walked nearly three miles


Police Handout)

The Old Bailey heard he then spent about 25 minutes lying in wait, yards from the church building where he was due to meet Sir David, having duped his staff into believing he was a healthcare worker moving to the area and wanted to discuss local matters.

Jurors previously heard that Ali had spent years hatching his plot, prosecutors said, investigating a number of potential high-profile political targets including Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Sir Keir Starmer, before settling on 69-year-old Tory backbencher, Sir David.

CCTV footage showing terror suspect’s journey to allegedly kill Sir David Amess


Police Handout)

He allegedly stabbed Sir David 21 times with a carving knife with a 12-inch blade as he sent a WhatsApp message apologizing to his family and friends, attempting to justify his actions.

Ali then spoke to his worried sister on the phone for 14 minutes, as Sir David lay bleeding to death, before being apprehended by two unarmed plain-clothes police officers, who pinned him to the floor and arrested him, the court heard.

Sir David, a married father-of-five, was pronounced dead at the scene.

He traveled along busy high streets and residential areas to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year


Police Handout)

On Tuesday, prosecutor Tom Little QC took the jury through a timeline of events leading up to the Sir David’s death, including email exchanges between Ali and the politician’s aid Rebecca Hayton.

On September 27, Ali allegedly emailed Sir David’s office to ask about a meeting.

He wrote: “I will be moving to the area from a Labour-held constituency and wanted to get to know my future MP.

The court was shown the CCTV footage


Police Handout)

“Since I work in healthcare, I would like to know his plans, if any, for the hospital and workers.

“Also, as someone interested in Christianity, I have seen many churches in my area losing attendances and struggling with upkeep, eventually becoming at risk of being demolished or repurposed.

“I wanted to know if the situation in Southend is similar and, if so, what are the solutions.”

Sir David Amess was attacked during a constituency surgery



Ali Harbi Ali is on trial for murder


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He added: “Looking forward to seeing you soon. If all appointments are taken, let me know if there’s a cancellation.

“I’ll be in the local area and will be able to drop by.”

Ms Hayton responded by requesting Ali’s address and full name to check he was a constituent, jurors heard.

Ali gave a postcode in Southend and told her: “I’ll be in the local area on Friday so it would be nice to see him regardless, although I know he’s a very busy man so I can appreciate (it) if that’s not possible .”

Flowers lay at the entrance of the Belfairs Methodist Church



Ms Hayton told Ali she would be happy to book him in for October 15.

He later confirmed he was “able to clear up my schedule” and asked for an appointment at noon.

He told Ms Hayton: “I don’t really know how long the appointments are but I don’t think I’ll take too long. Thanks for all the help so far.”

Police scene of crime officers attend following the stabbing of Sir David



The court heard that around the time of the attack on Sir David, Ali sent a message to family and friends which appeared to have been drafted days before, the court was told.

In it, he said the attack was “for the sake of Allah”, jurors heard.

He allegedly wrote: “I apologize to my family for deceiving them for so long. I would have preferred Hijrah so as not to harm you but I could not.”

“The obligations upon me to take revenge for the blood of Muslims were too great.

“The shame of abiding in the very lands that carry out these horrendous acts against my brothers and sisters was too much.”

Ali, from Kentish Town, north London, has denied preparing terrorist acts and murder.

The trial continues.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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