Striking the Heart

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A British court sentenced an Islamic State supporter to life in prison for the murder of Conservative lawmaker David Amess last year, an attack that has been described as a strike “on the heart of democracy” in Britain, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

The court ruled this week that London-born Ali Harbi Ali was guilty of murdering Amess and of planning a series of terrorist attacks against other lawmakers, including cabinet minister Michael Gove. Ali is the son of Harbi Ali Kullane, a former media adviser to Somali prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire. Kullane told media he was “traumatized” by the incident.

Last October, Ali stabbed Amess multiple times with a knife at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, while the lawmaker was meeting his constituents.

The attack was a retaliation for Amess being one of the legislators who voted for taking action against IS during its territorial expansion in Syria and Iraq between 2014 and 2015.

The whole-life sentence means that Ali will never be eligible for parole, according to Agence France-Presse.

Amess’ death marked the second time a lawmaker was killed by extremists. In 2016, Labour party lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist who is now also serving a whole-life sentence.

Meanwhile, the latest attack has raised demands to beef up security for elected representatives when they meet their constituents.

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