Scene where MP David Amess was stabbed
Scene where MP David Amess was stabbedREUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary has suggested that UK lawmaker David Amess, who was stabbed multiple times on Friday, may have been targeted due to his stance on Israel, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Sunday

According to the report, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the 54-year-old cleric said he was unsure about Amess’ views but added he was rumored to be pro-Israel.

Amess previously served as the honorary secretary of Conservative Friends of Israel, noted the Jewish Chronicle.

“Many people do [believe] that [Israel] is a terrorist state, and who would possibly be a friend of Israel after you see the carnage that they carried out against Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and continue to do with the appropriation of properties,” Choudary was quoted as having said.

He reportedly said he did not condone violence, adding, “Obviously that does not give someone justification for someone to kill someone. I believe there is a covenant of security in this country, where the lives and wealth of people with whom we Muslims live are protected in return for our lives and wealth.”

Choudary is the former head in Britain of Islam4UK or al-Muhajiroun, a group that called for Islamic law in Britain and which was banned under counter-terrorism legislation in 2010.

He has often praised Muslim terrorists, referring to the September 11 terrorists as “magnificent martyrs.” Choudary has in the past praised the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India and has also called for stoning homosexuals, assassinating the Pope, and prosecuting Queen Elizabeth for genocide.

In 2013, he was filmed while threatening at a protest outside the French Embassy in London that Islam will dominate France and England.

Choudary was sentenced in 2016 to five and a half years in prison after he and another person were charged with inviting support for ISIS, which is banned under UK anti-terror laws. He was released from prison in 2018.

Amess, who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at approximately noon on Friday by a man who walked into the meeting in the Belfairs Methodist Church.

An air ambulance landed after the stabbing but Amess was declared dead at the scene despite emergency services attempting to save his life.

British police said later on Friday that counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation into the murder.