Britische Ermittler sprechen von Terrorakt

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Der konservative Abgeordnete David Amess wird während einer Sprechstunde getötet. Die Polizei sagt, es gebe «eine mögliche Motivation in Verbindung zu islamistischem Extremismus».

© Foto: Getty Images Polizisten sichern den Tatort, an dem David Amess getötet wurde.

Brendan Cox war einer der Ersten, die reagierten. «Ein Angriff auf unsere gewählten Vertreter ist ein Angriff auf die Demokratie selbst», schrieb Cox am Freitagnachmittag. Da war David Amess noch am Leben. Etwa eine Stunde später bestätigte die Polizei in Essex, was mehrere Medien zu dem Zeitpunkt bereits meldeten: David Amess, Abgeordneter für die Konservativen im britischen Unterhaus, starb infolge eines Messerangriffs. Er wurde 69 Jahre alt.

Amess hielt am Freitagmittag gerade eine Bürgersprechstunde in einer Methodistenkirche in seinem Wahlbezirk in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex im Südosten Englands ab, als ein Mann ihn mit mehreren Messerstichen, wie es hiess, attackierte. Rettungskräfte versuchten, Amess noch am Ort zu reanimieren, die Polizei sperrte das Gebiet ab, ein Hubschrauber stand bereit. Der 25-jährige Angreifer wurde nach der Tat festgenommen, das Messer wurde der Polizei zufolge sichergestellt.

Brendan Cox, der Witwer der Politikerin Jo Cox, schrieb am Freitagnachmittag in einer zweiten Reaktion auf Twitter: «Meine Gedanken und meine Liebe sind bei Davids Familie. Sie sind alles, was jetzt zählt.» Auch die Labour-Abgeordnete Jo Cox war Opfer eines Messerangriffs geworden. Sie war vor fünf Jahren gerade auf dem Weg zu einer Bürgersprechstunde, als ein Mann sie auf offener Strasse ermordete. Das Motiv damals, im Jahr des Brexit-Referendums, war politisch, der Mörder ein Rechtsradikaler. Er rief «Britain first», Grossbritannien zuerst, als er Cox erstach.

In Amess’ Fall sprechen die Ermittler inzwischen von einem Terrorakt. Erste Untersuchungen hätten «eine mögliche Motivation in Verbindung zu islamistischem Extremismus» ergeben, heisst es in einer Mitteilung der Polizei. Zwei Orte in London wurden durchsucht. Der Verdächtige gilt bislang als Einzeltäter.

David Amess wurde in Essex geboren, studierte an der heutigen Universität Bournemouth Wirtschaft und begann mit Mitte zwanzig seine politische Karriere. Er war seit 1983 Abgeordneter, seit 1997 sass er für den Wahlbezirk Southend West im Parlament. Er galt Schilderungen zufolge als beliebt und angesehen. Er sei ein «hart arbeitender Abgeordneter» gewesen, der «sich um alle kümmerte», sich für Flüchtlinge einsetzte, überhaupt für die Angelegenheiten seiner Wähler, so beschrieben ihn mehrere Freunde und Kollegen am Freitag in der BBC. Er sprach sich gegen Abtreibungen und für den Brexit aus, vor allem engagierte er sich im Tierschutz.

«A lovely, lovely man»

Politiker aller Parteien reagierten umgehend, kondolierten der Familie und verurteilten die Tat. «Ein tragischer Tag für unsere Demokratie», schrieb die frühere Premierministerin Theresa May auf Twitter. Aussenministerin Liz Truss beschrieb ihn als «lovely, lovely man» und «herausragenden Parlamentarier», Finanzminister Rishi Sunak schrieb: «Der schlimmste Aspekt von Gewalt ist die Unmenschlichkeit.» Die Tat sei «zutiefst schockierend», schrieb Labour-Chef Keir Starmer. Premierminister Boris Johnson kehrte umgehend von einem Treffen mit anderen Abgeordneten in Bristol nach London zurück. «Unsere Herzen sind voller Schock und Traurigkeit», sagte er.

Die Tat liess Fragen aufkommen, ob Bürgersprechstunden in ihrer offenen, weitgehend ungeschützten Art weiterhin möglich sein können. Dan Norris, der Bürgermeister von Bristol – der gerade mit Boris Johnson in einem Meeting in der Rolls-Royce-Fabrik in Bristol war, als die Nachricht vom Angriff auf Amess publik wurde – sagte der Nachrichtenagentur PA, Politiker müssten ihre Art zu arbeiten überdenken, um sich besser zu schützen. «Politiker wollen zugänglich sein, aber das macht sie verletzlich», sagte Norris.

Gerade für Amess sei es allerdings ein wichtiger Bestandteil seiner Politik gewesen, in seinem Wahlbezirk präsent zu sein, sagten Kollegen. «David war überall», erzählte ein lokaler Rathausmitarbeiter laut PA, «man kam mit ihm nie weit, weil er alle hundert Yards anhielt und mit jemandem redete.»

Die britische Flagge über dem Regierungssitz in Downing Street wurde noch am Freitag auf halbmast gesetzt. David Amess hinterlässt eine Ehefrau und fünf Kinder.

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