The murdered British MP had ties to the Middle East, including the Iranian opposition


WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – The sympathetic and popular Conservative Party MP in the UK Parliament, Sir David Amess, who was assassinated on Friday, has been active on two Middle East-related matters.

Amess was chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Qatar Group, which works to promote relations between Britain and Qatar. In fact, he had just returned from a visit to Qatar.

Amess was also co-chair of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFI.) As explained on its website, the BCFI aims to promote secular democracy in Iran.

The BCFI regularly condemns the suppression of its own population by Tehran, including the Kurds. In fact, the BCFI. last month made a statement Sharp criticism of Iranian rocket and mortar attacks on Iranian Kurds who sought refuge in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The assassin and his background

Amess was murdered by a 25-year-old British man with a Somali background: Ali Harbi Ali. Ali was born in the UK and is the oldest of the four children of Harbi Ali Kullane, who was the communications director of former Somali Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke, who now lives in Kenya.

Ali’s family is prominent in Somali politics, and an uncle, Awale Kullane, is Somalia’s ambassador to China.

Harbi Kullane moved to the UK in the 1990s, where Ali was born in 1996. Growing up in south London, he attended a local Church of England elementary school, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Ali’s parents separated when he was young and his father split his time traveling between the UK, Somalia and Kenya.

As communications director of the West-backed government in Mogadishu, Kullane was involved in counter messages against al-Shabaab, the Islamist extremist group active in Somalia.

Kullan’s tough line against the terrorist group resulted in death threats against him from al-Shabaab and her sympathizers, the Telegraph reported.

Hence, it is noteworthy that Kullane’s son embraced the ideology of Islamic terrorist groups, and one is tempted to wonder if there was something in the relationship between Ali and his father that drove Ali’s adoption of such views.

According to the British authorities, Ali appears to have acted alone: ​​a so-called “lone wolf” who has radicalized himself. They speculate that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns exacerbated the problem and prompted him to spend more time online.

Kullane, who works with the police, told the London Sunday Times of his shock when he learned of his son’s action. “I feel very traumatized,” he said. “It’s not something I expected or even dreamed of.”

Ali had previously caught the attention of British authorities for extremist Islamist tendencies and was referred to a government deradicalization program called Prevent.

However, there are large numbers of such people in the UK. In one year alone – between March 2019 and March 2020 – over 6,000 people were referred to this program, the Sunday Times reported.

However, Ali was not under the supervision of the UK’s MI-5 domestic intelligence service, which monitors people who are considered to be a more serious and imminent threat. This number is also large: 3,000 people.

Amess Middle East Ties: Its Own Constituency, Qatar and Iran

Amess’ relations with the Middle East begin with his own constituency, which is east of London and includes two mosques. Following the murder of Amess, the leaders of both mosques expressed their grief over his death and their great appreciation for his work.

Amess was chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Qatar Group, which works to promote good relations between the UK and Qatar. In fact, he visited Qatar last week, where he met the Amir, who responded to his death by tweeting his condolences.

“It remains unclear” why Amess was “targeted,” reported The Independent. “The police are pursuing several lines of investigation, including his leadership of the Qatar all-party group.”

“Police investigate connection with Qatar for murder of MPs” is the lead story on Monday in the Times.

Although speculation in the British press has focused on a connection with Qatar, a connection with Iran seems just as plausible, if not plausible, especially since the Iranian regime has a long history of assassinations abroad, as in this timeline from the US Peace Institute.

Amess was a prominent critic of Iran. He was co-chair of the British Committee for the freedom of Iran (BCFI). The work of the organization, which is committed to building a democratic system in Iran, includes highlighting the repression of the Kurds by Tehran.

Indeed, last month BCFI made a statement “Strongly condemned the regime in Iran for firing rockets and shelling areas where Iranian refugees and Kurdish groups are housed in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan.”

Thwarting Ebrahim Raisi’s participation in the Glasgow climate summit

Originally, the new radical President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, elected in August, was supposed to attend the Cop26 world climate summit, which was to take place on October 31st in Glasgow, Scotland.

But a group of British activists, led by Struan Stevenson, a Scottish politician who represented Scotland in the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014, called on the British and Scottish governments to arrest Raisi if he was to attend the Cop26 conference.

Raisi responded by canceling his plans to attend the summit, which was to be his first overseas visit.

Shortly before Amess died – the day before – he published an article on the conservative US website Townhall with the title “Reverse a pattern of appeasement by arresting the genocidal president of Iran. “

Amess justified Raisi’s arrest as a legal basis: “The principle that allows serious human rights violations to be prosecuted by any judicial authority, even if the crimes actually took place in a different jurisdiction.”

He checked Raisi’s history of “serious human rights violations”, including “the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the largest opposition, the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), in the summer of 1988”.

About 30 years later, as Amess wrote, Raisi “took over the leadership of the Iranian judiciary on the orders of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.” He “oversaw key aspects of the crackdown on the November 2019 nationwide uprising that killed 1,500 peaceful demonstrators in a matter of days and tortured thousands of those arrested over a period of months.”

Amess cited Sweden’s arrest of Hamid Noury, who helped carry out “many of the executions that included the 1988 massacre”.

Noury ​​is now in court before a Swedish court.

“If that principle applies to Noury’s case,” continued Amess in his Townhall article, “then it certainly applies to the case of Ebrahim Raisi, whose role in the 1988 massacre was much larger and whose subsequent human rights violations were much more shocking and escalating was.” .”

The next day Amess was murdered –celebrated a crime in Iran’s official state media detailing its dealings with the Iranian opposition.


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