On the evening of December 1, 1917, a German revolutionary by the name of Ernst Röhm was killed during a purge led by Adolf Hitler. The murder is still shrouded in mystery and controversy to this day.
In February 2015, a video was released by an account claiming to be the Amess Assassination. The creator of this account has uploaded several videos and images narrating how they killed American film producer Aaron Swartz in 2013 while he slept at his home near Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is one of many such cases where people claim that their lives were taken away from them due to government actions or surveillance tactics. It’s not just limited to celebrities though- often everyday civilians are caught up in these incidents as well.,
The Board of Editors
The Board of Editors
17th of October, 2021, 4:51 p.m. ET
On October 17, a picture of David Amess was unveiled at St. Michael’s Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England.
courtesy of Getty Images/Holly Adams
The assassination of British Member of Parliament David Amess as he visited with constituents on Friday has rocked the country, and it should worry other Western democracies as well. It’s the first time we’ve heard of an alleged Islamist assassinating a British politician, and it raises unsettling concerns about assimilation and democratic values.
Amess, a 69-year-old Tory MP for Essex east of London, was one of the most popular and respected backbenchers in the House of Commons. His work spanned the Thatcher years, and he helped people fleeing the world’s various despotisms. During his normal Friday constituent meeting, he was assaulted in a church. In other words, he was slain while going about his job in a representative democracy.
According to sources, his assassin is Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali ancestry. He attacked Amess numerous times with a knife while waiting in a line of people. Mr. Ali is being investigated for extreme Islamic views or affiliations by police, who are calling the killing an act of domestic terrorism.
Mr. Ali, who is now detained, was not on MI5’s “subjects of interest” list, according to sources, but he had been referred to the counter-terrorism Prevent program, which attempts to prevent radicalization.
Other assaults on politicians in the United Kingdom and the United States have occurred that are unconnected to Islamists. In 2016, a far-right assassin murdered Labour MP Jo Cox with a knife and a pistol. In 2017, a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on Republican House members who were training for their annual baseball game, killing Rep. Steve Scalise.
However, if Mr. Ali’s act was inspired by extreme Islamic philosophy, it will reignite fears of radicalization. Is he a first-generation immigrant who got radicalized in the United Kingdom, or a second-generation immigrant who became radicalized in the United Kingdom? Was Mr. Ali a follower of an Islamist speaker or mosque? Radical Islam opposes Western principles, regards jihad as a holy cause, and takes advantage of democratic cultures’ openness to spread violence and murder the innocent.
Over the weekend, British politicians were divided on what level of protection to offer MPs in the future. At least one Tory suggested that “surgeries,” or in-person constituent meetings, be suspended. Others, notably Home Secretary Priti Patel, have argued that such acts of terror should not be allowed to undermine the openness and accessibility that are cornerstones of British democracy.
Our instincts tend toward Ms. Patel’s point of view, but the country’s security services and political culture will have to do a better job of combating Islamic extremism.
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The print version of the October 18, 2021, was published.