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Police probing yesterday's shocking murder of a Conservative MP have revealed that they are treating the incident as "terrorism related".
They have also stated that they are exploring a "potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism" in the early stages of their investigation.
The unnamed suspect has been described as British and of 'Somali heritage'.
Sir David Amess, 69, the MP for Southend West was holding his weekly surgery at the Belfairs Methodist Church, on Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, when a man reportedly ran into the church, stabbing him multiple times.
Essex Police later confirmed that he died at the scene.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police read:
"The fatal stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea has tonight been declared as a terrorist incident, with the investigation being led by Counter Terrorism Policing."
"Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon formally declared the incident as terrorism. The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."
"A 25-year-old British man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He is currently in custody at a police station in Essex."
The force also revealed that officers have been searching two addresses in the London area, with the operation still ongoing as of midnight.
Tributes to Sir Amess have poured in this evening from people in his Essex constituency, the UK, and around the world.
The husband of late MP Jo Cox — who was assassinated by a far-right terrorist outside her constituency office in 2016 — has spoken out after the passing of Sir Amess, commenting that the tragedy has brought back trauma for his family.
Speaking in a series of tweets, Mr Cox said: “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets."
"My thoughts and love are with David’s family. They are all that matter now. This brings everything back. The pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us following the loss of Jo. I hope we can do the same for David now.”
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