Asylum seekers 'afraid' after street murder - charity

Ahmed Alid
Ahmed Alid was living in Home Office-approved asylum seekers' accommodation in Hartlepool at the time of the attack [Counter Terrorism Policing North East]

Asylum seekers and refugees were left "afraid" to go out for fear of repercussions after a pensioner was murdered in the street by an Islamist extremist, a charity has said.

Ahmed Alid, 45, was jailed for life on Friday for stabbing 70-year-old Terence Carney in Hartlepool in October, in "revenge" for the Israel-Hamas conflict.

On Friday, a judge described his actions as "a terrorist act" and said Alid - who was himself claiming asylum - had hoped to "frighten the British people and the freedoms they enjoy".

Tees Valley of Sanctuary said people living locally missed appointments, volunteering commitments and did not go out for food because they were "afraid they would be targeted".

Shams Moussa, Tees Valley of Sanctuary co-chair, said Alid was "not a sanctuary seeker" but a "terrorist and a criminal".

In the early hours of 15 October, Alid - originally from Morocco - attempted to murder his housemate, Javed Nouri, by breaking into his bedroom.

He then fled into the street and attacked Mr Carney, who was out for a morning walk.

After his arrest Alid, who was described by prosecutors as an extremist, told police the killing was "for the people of Gaza", and he had wanted to kill more.

'Community shaken'

Mr Moussa said the sanctuary-seeking community were "all afraid" and blamed the fear on politicians "dividing the community".

Shams Moussa
Shams Moussa helps to provide support to asylum seekers and refugees in the Tees Valley [BBC]

"This is happening because politicians do not control what they are saying," he said.

"Already they [sanctuary seekers] are seen as people who are not here to do much except take advantage - which is not true because we all know that sanctuary seekers are not allowed to work, they are not allowed to do anything while their claims are going on."

After last month's trial, Mr Carney's family thanked a number of people, especially Mr Nouri and two other men who were living with Alid, who helped to fight him off.

"What they themselves endured that night was truly horrific, they believed they too were going to die," a statement said.

"Despite this, they fully assisted the police with their enquiries and gave their evidence in court, which is testament to their characters.

"These three men were the voice of our loved one, when he was unable to speak out for himself. For this we will forever be grateful to them."

'Overhaul'

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Home Office made an "alarming catalogue of failures" in Alid's case.

She called for "a major overhaul of the UK's asylum and immigration system" that "shockingly" took three years to process Alid's claim.

Ms Cooper said Alid was not challenged by Border Force staff when he entered the UK unlawfully in 2020, and his case had not been fast-tracked.

She said: "Ahmed Alid is responsible for these terrible crimes, but we cannot ignore the alarming catalogue of failures in the way the Home Office dealt with his case."

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said a "major overhaul" of the UK's asylum and immigration system was needed [PA media/Victoria Jones]

Hartlepool's Conservative MP, Jill Mortimer, said: "Mr Carney was a victim of a failed asylum seeker who should never have been here in Hartlepool in the first place.

"I continue to pressure the government to enforce the removal of people whose asylum claims have been turned down and to speed up the vetting process, so that these people who travel across Europe making multiple asylum claims in multiple countries are under no circumstances granted stay in the UK."

A spokesman for the home secretary said: "This Conservative government had already sped up processing and tightened asylum decisions.

"Labour have voted over 100 times to block our plans and would scrap our Rwanda plan on day one."

He added Labour "have no plan" and "would leave us more unsafe".

"When they were last in government, Labour’s asylum amnesty let tens of thousands of asylum seekers stay in the UK permanently with no checks."

Additional reporting by PA Media.

Follow BBC Tees on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to northeastandcumbria@bbc.co.uk

More on this story

Related internet links