(AP/Alastair Grant)
David Amess

Anjem Choudhary may be trying to pre-empt criticism for his own possible link to the murder of MP David Amess.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

A radical Islamic preacher stoked controversy by suggesting that British parliamentarian Sir David Amess was murdered because he was “pro-Israel.” Anjem Choudhary’s remarks, however may an attempt to pre-empt criticism of his own possible connection to the murder, reports indicate.

Amess, a Conservative MP, was stabbed to death while meeting and greeting voters in his Leigh-on-Sea, Essex constituency. Police have arrested Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British national of Somali descent. According to British reports, Ali was briefly enrolled in Prevent, a voluntary program intended to steer at-risk individuals from Islamic radicalism.

However, friends of Ali told British media he was radicalized by YouTube videos uploaded by Choudhary.

Choudhary, a London-based firebrand preacher, is the former head of al-Muhajiroun, also known as Islam4UK, which was banned in 2010. The organization sought to bring sharia, or Islamic religious law, to the UK. He served two years in prison for inviting support for Islamic State and has praised Islamic terrorists such as those who carried out the 9/11 and Mumbia attacks. Choudhary has also been accused of radicalizing a number of British terrorists.

He told Britain’s Mail on Sunday, “I am not sure about this particular MP’s views. The rumors are that he is pro-Israel, and he is part of the Conservative Party, and they have been in power a long time, especially during the campaigns in Muslim countries such as Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan.”

When asked why being pro-Israel would make Amess a target, Choudary said, “Many people do [believe] that it 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?”

The Mail added that Choudhary was quick to insist that he doesn’t condone murder and that Amess’ views on Israel should not have justified the killing.

But his comments were sharply criticized on social media.

Col. Richard Kemp, who commanded British forces in Afghanistan, tweeted, “Anjem Choudary, convicted supporter of Islamic State and terrorist radicaliser, again rabble rousing, justifying murder of Sir David Amess.”

The 69-year-old Amess was regarded as supportive of the Jewish community and was honorary secretary of Conservative Friends of Israel. According to the Mail, Amess was not known for taking hardline stances on Israel.