Accused of killing Sir David Ames MP says ‘I expected to kill Michael Gove’

The terrorist suspect accused of killing Sir David Ames last year said he wanted to kill Michael Gove.

Ali Harbi Ali, accused of killing an MP in an election operation in Le-On-C, Essex last year, as well as preparing for terrorist activities, began testifying in his defense at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

The 26-year-old from North London’s Kentish Town said he had decided to assassinate Sir David Ames because of his previous voting record in British foreign policy, including airstrikes in Syria.

Ali told the court: “I decided to do it because I felt that if I could kill someone who decided to kill Muslims, it could prevent further harm to those Muslims.

Sir David Ames died of elective surgery on 15 October in Lay-on-C, Essex



Ali told the court that Michael Gove was another target


Typhoon Salsi / Zuma Press Wire / REX / Shutterstock)

“He voted in parliament before, not just him … I decided that if I could not emigrate, if I could not help the Muslims (in Syria) I would do something here.”

Asked what the difference would be if Sir David was killed, Ali said: “One, he can’t vote anymore.

“If he had a vote like that before, he wouldn’t do it in the future and would probably send a message to his colleagues.”

Ali was also asked why he had a note on his phone about his “plan” to assassinate Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.

Ali said: “The plan was to attack and kill Michael Gove at that time.

“I believe he was someone who was harmful to Muslims.

Court artist Ali’s sketch during the trial in the Old Bailey



Ali is accused of killing Tory MP David Ames


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“I thought if I could not join the Islamic State, I should try to do something here to help the Muslims here.”

He told the court that he expected the “martyr” to die when police arrived at the scene on October 15, 2021. Officers, armed with disabled sprays and sticks, persuaded Ali to drop his knife.

He said: “I saw something black in their hands, I thought it was a gun, I was asking: Is it Tassar?”

“I realized they were not armed. My sister was still on the phone, crying.

“At that time I thought I would not be martyred, I just dropped the knife.

“I was expecting ‘Bang, Bang, Bang’ – shooting. I thought they would basically start shooting.

Ali’s CCTV on the way to the Lay-on-Sea railway station on 15 October



Ali told prosecutor Tom Little QC that he had no remorse for killing Sir David, whom he simply referred to as “David”.

He denies being “completely shameless.”

He said: “I will not use the word ‘shameless’, but I am not ashamed.”

Mr Little said: “You don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.”

Ali replied: “If I thought I did something wrong, I wouldn’t do it.”

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