David Amess: CCTV images ‘show MP murder suspect Ali Harbi Ali hours before attack’

Shop manager says he was approached by detectives looking for footage of 25-year-old suspect

Conrad Duncan
Tuesday 19 October 2021 12:12
CCTV shows suspect in stabbing of MP David Amess

CCTV images taken close to the home of the man suspected of killing Sir David Amess MP are being studied by police, it is reported.

The video, obtained by Sky News and other outlets, shows a man walking with a backpack across his right shoulder and his hand in his left pocket.

It was filmed from outside a convenience store on Highgate Road, Kentish Town, at 8.44am on Friday – hours before the attack.

Counterterrorism officers have been questioning 25-year-old suspect Ali Harbi Ali, who is thought to live at a house in nearby Lady Somerset Road that was searched by officers over the weekend.

The shop manager told the Daily Mail that he was visited by a detective on Sunday searching for footage.

“She said she was investigating the MP's murder and asked to have a look at the CCTV footage,” said Ismet Cengiz.

“They wanted to look at the street outside between 8.30 and 9am. After a while, the officer said she had found what she was looking for and took the footage.”

Police have until this Friday to question the suspect, with Scotland Yard saying that the early investigation revealed a “potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism” for the killing.

However, it is understood that the suspect was not, and had not previously been, a subject of interest (SOI) for the security services.

MI5 investigates around 3,000 SOIs and has about 600 live investigations going on at any one time.

Mr Ali was a pupil at Riddlesdown Collegiate in Croydon, known as the largest secondary school in the area which has Kate Moss as alumni.

“He wasn’t particularly popular but he had a group of around four or five close friends who he would hang out with, usually playing football,” a former pupil toldThe Times.”

“He was quiet but definitely wasn’t a loner type.”

Gordon Smith, who was headteacher between 2006 and 2015 and now runs the trust in charge of the school, said: “We share the horror of the whole country at the tragic murder of Sir David Amess.”

The Collegiate Trust’s chief executive added: “We are supporting the police in their investigation and are unable to make further comment on a former student.”

So far there is nothing to suggest Mr Ali had extensive contact with terror groups abroad, according to Whitehall sources.