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U.K. Politician’s Murder Puts Focus on Anti-Terrorism Program



U.K. Politician’s Murder Puts Focus on Anti-Terrorism Program

By Irene Garcia Perez and Kitty Donaldson

The murder of a U.K. lawmaker has focused attention on “Prevent,” a program designed to identify people at risk of becoming radicalized, as well as on how to combat “corrosive” online discourse.

U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday the counter-terrorism program is undergoing an independent review. The suspect in the deadly stabbing of Conservative MP David Amess had reportedly been referred to “Prevent” several years ago -- as had at least two others in the past few years who went on to commit violent or deadly acts.  

 “It’s timely to do that, we have to learn, not just from incidents that have taken place, but how we can strengthen our programs,” Patel said on Sky News’s “Trevor Philipps Show.” The suspect in custody was identified by a U.K. government official as Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali origin.

He’s been held under the U.K.’s Terrorism Act, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. Early investigations revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamic extremism, the police said. The BBC reported that Ali was referred to “Prevent” some years ago.

However, the U.K. official, speaking under the usual custom of anonymity, said the man was never a formal subject of interest to MI5, the nation’s domestic security agency.”

Full story https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-17/u-k-s-patel-says-prevent-program-to-see-independent-review