The murder of British Conservative MP David Amess, 69, this Friday in the town of Leigh-on-Sea has been considered a terrorist incident, the London Metropolitan Police reported early this Saturday.
“The murder of David Amess in Essex earlier today has been declared a terrorist incident, and the Met Counter-Terrorism Command will lead the investigation,” Scotland Yard announced in a statement on Twitter.
Amess died after being stabbed during a meeting with voters from his constituency in eastern England.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the same crime scene, inside a Methodist church in the coastal town of Leighton-on-Sea, and is being held at an Essex police station.
The investigation is being led by the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command, which is working closely with colleagues from the Eastern Region Specialized Operations Unit (ERSOU) and Essex Police, the official note adds.
“The senior national coordinator of police surveillance against terrorism, Deputy Commissioner Dean Haydon, formally declared the incident as terrorism. The initial investigation has revealed a possible motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the statement said.
As part of the investigation, officers are conducting two-way searches in the London area and are ongoing, according to police.
“It is believed that he acted alone and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident at this time. However, investigations into the circumstances are continuing,” the police note reported.
All parties have expressed consternation at the crime, which has evoked the memory of Labor MP Jo Cox, shot dead by a man linked to the far right in June 2016, days before the Brexit referendum.