Suspect arrested for assassinating Brit MP is finally named by police, but the New York Times won’t print his name: Ali Harbi Ali
We can guess that British Member of Parliament Sir David Amess, cruelly and painfully stabbed to death while meeting with constituents, was likely targeted for his pro-Israel and philo-Semitic views, now that the name of the suspect arrested at the scene has been released.
Around 6 PM EDT Saturday, the UK Guardian first reported:
Sources have confirmed to the Guardian that the suspect’s name is Ali Harbi Ali, 25.
Other British media picked up the story and added details. The Sunday Times and Evening Standard both chose to emphasize the suspect’s family as victims: “Father’s shock after son held over Sir David Amess murder” and “Terror suspect’s family have been left ‘traumatised’ by arrest.” They respectively headlined.
It turns out that Mr. Ali already had been on the radar of the UK’s counter-terrorism apparatus:
Ali had been referred to Prevent, the UK’s counter-terrorist scheme for those thought at risk of radicalization a few years ago, the BBC reported. Ali is believed not have spent long on the program, which is voluntary in nature, and was never formally a “subject of interest” to MI5, the domestic security agency, said the BBC.
Police and security services believe the attacker acted alone and was “self-radicalized,” The Sunday Times reported, while he may have been inspired by Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists in Somalia.
Ali’s father Harbi Ali Kullane, a former adviser to the prime minister of Somalia, confirmed to The Sunday Times that his son was in custody, adding: “I’m feeling very traumatized.”
While media around the world, including the New York Times’ local rival, The New York Post, have reported Ali’s name, the newspaper formerly regarded as the paper of record refuses to report it, as of 7:30 AM EDT today, more than 12 hours after the news broke.
So much for “All the news that’s fit to print.”
Sir David was an obvious target for a jihadist:
Amess was a longtime member of Conservative Friends of Israel. He campaigned successfully for a statue in London for Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, and enjoyed warm ties to the British Jewish community. He was also a trenchant critic of the ayatollahs’ regime in Iran.
“He always stood with the Jewish community and was a true friend of Israel. May his memory be for a blessing,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Friday.
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