The man on trial for the murder of British parliamentarian David Amess testified Thursday that he targeted the lawmaker because he had voted for Syrian airstrikes.
Sir David Amess was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents in his district on October 15, 2021. The Conservative party MP and father of five was known for his deep Catholic faith, and was one of the most pro-life members of Parliament.
Amess was stabbed 20 times with a foot-long carving knife at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and died at the scene.
Ali Harbi Ali, 26, denies the charges of murder and terrorism, but told the court that he had no regrets about what he had done.
“If I thought I did anything wrong, I wouldn’t have done it,” he testified, according to a BBC report.
Ali told jurors that he decided to assassinate a British politician because he was disappointed that he was not able to join the Islamic State in Syria.
“”He [Amess] voted previously in Parliament, not just him… I decided if I couldn’t make hijrah, if I couldn’t help the Muslims [in Syria], I would do something here.”
Asked what good would killing Amess would do, Ali said, “For one, he can’t vote again.”
“If he ‘had previous’ for doing votes like that he won’t do it in the future, and perhaps send a message to his colleagues.”
“So hopefully, he won’t be able to harm Muslims in that regard,” he said.
He told his defense counsel: “As a Muslim, I was obligated to do something during that period.”
Mr Ali explained that he hoped that by killing Amess other MPs would “cease hostilities with Muslims.”