More is being uncovered as the hours following the murder of a British soldier roll by.
The soldier who remains unnamed was attacked yesterday, May 22, by youths spouting words of hate as they took their frustrations out on the unwitting victim.
In what will undoubtedly go down in the annals of history as one of the most brutal unprovoked killings ever, one of the perpetrators has been identified as MICHAEL MUJAHID ADEBOLAJO, a Nigerian of Yoruba descent.
As if Nigeria‘s reputation has not taken enough of a beating, this act of horror could be yet another dent in the country’s image.
- Suspect identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, who is a British citizen
- Schoolmates described a ‘nice normal guy’ who was radicalised at 15
- Man believed to be Adebolajo filmed ranting with bloodied hands yesterday
- Radical preacher Anjem Choudhary knew Adebolajo and called him ‘pleasant’
- Police raid house thought to be his father’s home in Lincolnshire village
- Parents moved him away in his teens as he became ‘obsessed’ with Islam
- Adebolajo and the other suspect were known to British Secret Services
- Pair arrested and being treated in separate hospitals after being shot
By MARTIN ROBINSON
The British citizen suspected of executing a serving soldier in the Woolwich terror attack was brought up as a Christian but became ‘obsessed’ with Islam as a schoolboy, it emerged today.
A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, was filmed yesterday drenched in blood, wielding a meat cleaver and yelling ‘We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.’
Today former classmates from his school in Romford expressed their ‘utter shock’ as they saw him brandishing weapons on television, saying he was once a ‘nice, normal guy.’
But at 15 he descended into a world where he was consumed with Jihadism and later joined several Islamist groups banned in Britain because they are considered so extreme.
His parents, whose home in Lincolnshire was allegedly raided by terror police today, moved him away from east London because they feared he had been radicalised.
‘He was a Christian. A nice, normal guy. All his friends were white and used to go round to each other’s houses all the time’, a former friend told the Evening Standard.
‘He started getting involved with Islam aged about 15 or 16, and that is why his parents moved him away out of the area. It is utterly shocking to see what he has done. It’s unbelievable.’
The British citizen of Nigerian descent was born in Lambeth, South London, in 1985, and then moved to Romford, East London.
Adeboloja is said to have joined the banned Islamist organisation Al Muhajiroun, which promotes Sharia law, and other controversial groups banned under the Terrorism Act.
He is said to have been well-known on the Islamic extremist scene in Britain and may have been stopped or arrested on his way to join the militant Islamist group Al Shabaab in Somalia in the past year.
However, the two suspects are not thought to have links to terror groups based in Nigeria, such as the jihadist militant organisation Boko Haram.
The security services, including MI5, were aware of him and his accomplice, who has not been named, but is believed to be from Harold Hill, close to Romford.
‘THERE IS A CHANCE OF MORE ATTACKS’: CHILLING WARNING FROM PREACHER WHO KNEW SUSPECT
Anjem Choudary, who led Islamist group Al Muhajiroun – the banned forerunner to Islam4UK where Adebolajo often appeared with other radical protesters – said he recognised him from TV footage at the scene.
Choudary said: ‘I went to the same primary school as him in Woolwich, Mulgrave, and grew up in the same area and he came to the local mosque – it was a peaceful community with lots of Muslim people from Somalia and Pakistan. I didn’t know him that well so I can’t say where his family was from.
‘He converted around 2003 to Islam, before I met him and I knew him as his convert name ‘Mujaheed’ when he used to attend our demonstrations and lectures. I last saw him in 2011, he was a very nice man with impeccable character and nothing unusual about him.
He added: ‘What he did was unusual and it’s not the kind of view that I propagate and I do not condone the use of violence, but those views are out there. Some members of the Muslim community struggle to express themselves and he is making his voice heard in blood.’
Anjem Choudary, the former leader of Al Muhajiroun today admitted her knew Adebolajo and called him a ‘pleasant, quiet guy’.
‘I knew him as Mujahid. He attended our meetings and my lectures. I wouldn’t describe him as a member [of Al Muhajiroun]. There were lots of people who came to our activities who weren’t necessarily members,’ he said today.
‘He was a pleasant, quiet guy. He converted to Islam in about 2003. He was just a completely normal guy. He was interested in Islam, in memorising the Koran. He disappeared about two years ago. I don’t know what influences he has been under since then.’
Choudary suggested that it was possible the attack was motivated by British Government foreign policy in the Muslim world, and that this may not have been an isolated incident.
He said: ‘We are a very politicised community. Some people are angered by draconian measures such as ‘stop and search’ and restrictions on free speech.
‘There is a chance of more lone wolf attacks happening again due to these draconian measures.
‘If you want to condemn anyone it’s the British Government, this is one death but if you add up the number of people killed and tortured by the British government it is in the millions.’
Today Police started raiding addresses all over the country that may have had a link to Adebolajo or the attack.
Michael’s sister was said to have been led away from an address in Romford this morning.
Detectives and forensic officers were examining the top floor flat believed to belong to Blessing Daniels. They were seen taking plastic boxes into the block. Other officers sat in a white Transit van outside the estate.
The victim lies on the floor (circled left) while the man believed to be Michael Adebolajo is treated by a police officer (circled right)
Terror police also searched a Lincolnshire property, believed to belong to his father, nurse Anthony Adebolajo, 56
At 5.30am there was also a raid on a property in Greenwich, where witnesses said four people – two sisters in their 30s, an older woman and a teenage boy – were all taken away in a Scotland Yard van.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and his unnamed accomplice are believed to have run down the off-duty British soldier with a Vauxhall Tigra as he walked back to the Woolwich Barracks at 2.20pm yesterday, crushing his body against a road sign.
Witnesses said the terror suspects then ‘hacked and chopped’ at his body like ‘crazed animals’, before dragging his corpse into the middle of the road leaving a trail of blood.
As they apparently tried to decapitate him they were chanting ‘Allah Akbar!’ – an Islamic phrase meaning ‘God is great’ – and yelling ‘this is what God would have wanted’.
Aftermath: The men waited for 20 minutes saying they wanted to shoot the police, but were gunned down themselves and are shown here being detained
A blood-soaked man believed to be Adebolajo, who was still holding a number of weapons in his red-stained hands, then ranted on camera in a clear London accent saying: ‘You people will never be safe’ before telling a passer-by they had not fled because they were waiting to ‘shoot the police’.
Within 20 minutes armed officers arrived and the fundamentalists charged at them wielding firearms, knives and a machete.
Police opened fire, shooting six bullets, leaving one seriously injured. The pair remain under armed guard in two separate London hospitals.
Mr Cameron said images from the horrific killing on a busy street in Woolwich were ‘deeply shocking’.
He said the family of the murdered solider are ‘grieving for a loved one and we have lost a brave solider’.
‘One of the best ways of defeating terrorism is to go about our normal lives. And that is what we shall all do’
Prime Minister David Cameron
He said he could not comment on the detailed police investigation but vowed: ‘This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against extremism and terror.
‘We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms. This view is shared by every community.’
David Cameron urged people to ‘go about our normal lives’ in response to the brutal killing of a serving solider on the streets of London.
The Prime Minister today overruled a Ministry of Defence ban on troops wearing uniforms in public, insisting Britain will not ‘buckle’ to terror.
In a strident statement outside Number 10 today, Mr Cameron said: ‘The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know: something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger.’
Mr Cameron revealed that the two suspected killers were known to the security services and promised that the authorities will investigate into whether the attack could have been prevented.
‘As is the normal practice in these sorts of cases, the Independent Police Complaints Commission will be able to review the actions of the police, and the Intelligence and Security Committee will be able to do the same for the wider,’ he said.
‘But nothing should be done to get in the way of their absolutely vital work.’
A Cub Scout leader who confronted the Islamic fanatics after they had allegedly executed a soldier in a Woolwich street said today: ‘I wasn’t scared. Rather me than a child.’
The moment fearless mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett remonstrated with one of the killers, whose hands were blood-soaked and still carried knives, was filmed in the aftermath of the terror attack.
Police were today seen outside a £365,000 detached house in a Lincolnshire village where they raided a home where Adebolajo is listed as having lived in the past.
There was no answer at the address believed to be that of Adebolajo’s father, named by neighbours as Anthony Adebolajo.
Mr Adebolajo, 56, is believed to be a trained nurse now working in a managerial capacity within the NHS.
Shortly before midday police extended the cordon to take in the entire road and a handful of surrounding roads and cul-de-sacs. No visible evidence of searching at the house could be seen, with the curtains remaining drawn and no movement in or out of the house.
Later in the morning, plain clothes officers, thought to be from the Metropolitan Police, arrived at the modern estate and the house and driveway was sealed off with police tape. An officer at the scene described the property as a ‘crime scene’.
Mr Adebolajo bought the property in 2002. At one time a woman who wore a burka was thought to live with him.
They believed he had up to four grown up children, although few if any are thought to have stayed at the house for any period of time.
Michael Adebolajo was listed as being a resident there in 2004, shortly after the family moved in.
One nearby resident said: ‘I know his family have ties to London, but whoever is at this house is very secretive.
‘The curtains are always drawn at the front and the back, I’ve never seen anybody in the garden, either.’
Neighbours said the house has been home to the same family for about a decade and the blinds at the house were today closed.
A spokesman said: ‘Lincolnshire Police can confirm that the Metropolitan Police executed a search warrant under PACE at an address in Lincolnshire.
‘This is in connection with the ongoing investigation into the murder of a man in Woolwich. The Metropolitan Police are not prepared to discuss the matter further at this stage.’
This morning a group of military wives – some pushing prams, laid flowers at the main gates of the barracks to pay their respects to the dead soldier.
One of the women, in her 20s, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We are a group of military wives.
‘We live just outside the base. We are all just very numb at the moment – shaken up and very shocked. It could have been any one of our husbands.
‘He was a young guy who cared very much about his job, like they all do. I think he was in training. The atmopshere is very quiet. No one really wants to talk. No one knows what to say.
‘We are very sad and feeling quite raw at the moment. A lot of our husbands left the country this morning to go to Kenya. I don’t believe he was due to leave.
‘He was an attachment to our batallion I think. He was in training to start off his life as a soldier. It could have been any person on the street but for it to be someone serving, we all feel targeted. It’s not nice.’
In a chilling rant captured on camera, the knife-wielding Adebolajo declared: ‘The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.
He added, in the video obtained by ITV News: ‘Remove your governments – they don’t care about you. You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bursting our guns? You think politicians are going to die?
‘No, it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them – tell them to bring our troops back so we can … so you can all live in peace.’
Last night the crime scene remained swarming with police and forensic teams who illuminated the road with spotlights as they examined evidence under large tents.
As they worked, more than 100 members of far-right group the English Defence League gathered around the scene, with many draped in St George’s flags and wearing black balaclavas.
Riot police holding shields formed a cordon around the area as the EDL members waved flags and chanted ‘no surrender to the Muslim scum’, ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘England’.
Leader Tommy Robinson addressed the crowd, saying: ‘We have got weak leadership. They have allowed this to happen. People are scared to say the word Muslim. They are scared to offend them.
‘You know what? We are offended. People in this country are angry. They have had enough.’
They marched threw bottles at police before being dispersed by officers by 11pm.
A number of EDL supporters then headed to the local Queen’s Arms pub where they sang nationalistic songs.
Onlookers said a brick was thrown through a mosque window during the march.
Culled from dailymail.co.uk