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Fusilier Lee Rigby’s murderers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale have been given a whole-life term and a minimum of 45 years in jail, respectively.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, drove into Lee Rigby with a car before hacking him to death in Woolwich, south-east London, in May last year.
The pair were absent during sentencing after a scuffle in the dock.
The judge began to sentence the men they started shouting and scuffling with court security guards. They had to be forced to the ground and were removed from court.
Fusilier Lee Rigby’s family sobbed as Michael Adebolajo shouted “allahu akbar”, and Michael Adebowale called out “that’s a lie” as the judge told them their extremist views were “a betrayal of Islam”.
Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale killed Fusilier Lee Rigby as he returned to his barracks in Woolwich
Sentencing the killers in their absence, the judge said they had been convicted on “overwhelming” evidence of the “barbaric” murder of Lee Rigby.
The British Muslim converts had “butchered” the 25-year-old soldier, he said.
Michael Adebolajo was the leader of the “joint enterprise”, the judge said, but Michael Adebowale played his part “enthusiastically”.
The judge said the pair carried out the murder “in a way that would generate maximum media coverage”.
Fusilier Lee Rigby, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was murdered as he returned to his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London on May 22, 2013. He died of multiple cut and stab wounds.
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Michael Adebolajo has been charged with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London, on May 22.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, of Romford, Essex, was also charged with the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm.
He has been remanded in custody to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday.
Michael Adebowale, 22, has already been charged with the soldier’s murder and appeared in court on Thursday.
Michael Adebowale, of Greenwich, south-east London, was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey, London, on Monday.
He was charged after spending six days in hospital, having been shot by police and arrested following the attack on May 22.
Michael Adebolajo, who was also shot and arrested at the scene, was charged after spending nine days in hospital and taken into custody at a south London police station.
Both Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo were filmed and photographed by witnesses following the attack, which took place on a busy street during the afternoon.
Michael Adebolajo has been charged with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich
On Wednesday, a post-mortem examination found Drummer Lee Rigby, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, died of “multiple incised wounds” after the attack.
Thousands of flowers have been laid at the scene of the killing by members of the public in honor of Drummer Lee Rigby.
The total number of arrests made in connection with the attack stands at 12. So far, eight of those arrested have been bailed and two released without charge.
Meanwhile, far-right and anti-fascist groups have held rival demonstrations in central London amid increased tensions following Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder.
Police said 58 members of Unite Against Fascism had been arrested at a counter-protest sparked by a British National Party demonstration in Westminster. All were arrested for breaches of the Public Order Act.
On Friday, Drummer Lee Rigby’s family appealed for calm after reports of a rise in anti-Muslim incidents following the killing.
In a statement, his family said Lee Rigby would not have wanted his death used to excuse reprisal attacks, and called for people to “show their respect in a peaceful manner”.
British authorities have arrested a 10th person in connection with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
The 50-year-old man was arrested in Welling, south-east London, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Police also confirmed an address in south-east London was being searched.
British authorities have arrested a 10th person in connection with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich
Meanwhile shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said ministers must put “more effort” into fighting the “murderous narrative” of hate preachers.
Four of those arrested have been bailed, two released without charge and four remain in custody over the killing on Wednesday.
Two suspects, Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22 – both Britons of Nigerian descent who are understood to be converts to Islam – remain in custody in hospital in a stable condition after being shot and wounded by police at the scene after the killing.
The Metropolitan Police said the men would not be questioned until they had been discharged from hospital, and the time they had spent under arrest so far would not count towards the maximum amount of time they could legally be held without charge.
Questions are still being raised over what British authorities knew about the suspects before the killing.
Michael Adebolajo, one of the suspects in the Woolwich attack case, was arrested in Kenya in 2010, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
It said Michael Adebolajo, 28, was arrested there and it gave consular assistance “as normal” in the circumstances.
Michael Adebolajo was believed to have been preparing to fight with Somali militant group al-Shabab, a Kenyan government spokesman confirmed, and was later deported.
Meanwhile, police investigating soldier Lee Rigby’s murder have arrested a 22-year-old man in north London.
The arrest at Highbury Grove, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, brings the total number made so far in the case to nine.
Members of Lee Rigby’s family have visited the scene of the killing, laying flowers at Woolwich Barracks where the 25-year-old drummer with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was based.
They hugged and comforted each other as they looked at some of the many thousands of floral tributes that have been left in his memory, before crossing the road to look at the exact spot where he was attacked.
Several hundred people gathered at the scene a few hours later, some chanting Lee Rigby’s name and waving Help for Heroes flags.
The Met Police said it was a planned community event in which a group of people intended to lay a wreath.
A small group of English Defence League members also joined the crowd, prompting organizers to complain that their plans had been “hijacked”.
The Kenyan government had previously denied that Michael Adebolajo had ever visited the country, but spokesman Muthui Kariuki said there had been some confusion as he was arrested under a different name.
Michael Adebolajo, one of the suspects in the Woolwich attack case, was arrested in Kenya in 2010
In video footage of his court appearance which emerged on Sunday, Michael Adebolajo is heard to say: “These people are mistreating us, we are innocent.”
Muthui Kariuki said Michael Adebolajo was then handed over to “British security officers” when it emerged he was a UK citizen.
Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab is affiliated to al-Qaeda and is thought to have 7,000 to 9,000 fighters. It killed 76 people in a double bomb attack in Uganda as they watched the 2010 World Cup.
Michale Adebolajo and a second man, Michael Adebowale, 22, were arrested on suspicion of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday.
They remain in custody in hospital in a stable condition after being shot and wounded by police at the scene after the killing.
Three further men, aged 21, 24 and 28, were arrested in London on Saturday evening on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder – a Taser was used on two of them.
A 29-year-old man arrested earlier on suspicion of conspiracy to murder was released on bail on Saturday, while two women aged 29 and 31, arrested on Thursday, have been released without charge.
In an update on Sunday, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne said officers were examining CCTV footage, social media and forensic material as part of their investigation into Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder.
He appealed for any associates of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who believed they might have useful information to come forward.
Earlier on Sunday, Home Secretary Theresa May said “500 officers and others” were working on the case, including counter-terrorism officers brought in from elsewhere in the country.
Senior Whitehall sources have previously confirmed both suspects arrested at the scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s killing were already known to security services.
When asked if there were mistakes made by the security services in dealing with this case, Theresa May said: “What we have is the right procedures which say when things like this happen we do need to look at whether there are any lessons to be learned.”
Theresa May also said a new taskforce was being set up to look at whether new powers were needed to tackle extremism.
It will be chaired by the prime minister and include senior cabinet ministers and security chiefs.
The soldier was on patrol in the area of La Defense when he was stabbed in the neck by an unknown man who escaped
A French soldier has been stabbed in a Paris suburb and the authorities are investigating whether the incident was a copycat attack in the wake of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, killed in London this week.
“They tried to kill the soldier because he was a soldier,” said French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The soldier was on patrol in the area of La Defense when he was stabbed in the neck by an unknown man who escaped.
His injuries are not life-threatening and he is in a stable condition.
Earlier, French President Francois Hollande had said all possibilities were being explored but there was no evidence yet of any link to the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in the Woolwich area of London on Wednesday.
But Jean-Yves Le Drian said the soldier had been targeted, and said he was determined to lead “an implacable fight against terrorism”.
The 23-year-old French soldier was patrolling in uniform with two colleagues in the suburban railway station at La Defense late on Saturday afternoon.
He was attacked from behind by a man wielding a knife or a box-cutter.
The assailant, whose identity is unknown, ran away into a crowded shopping area before the two other soldiers were able to react.
A senior police officer said the soldier had lost a considerable amount of blood but would survive, and is now being treated in a nearby military hospital.
France is on high alert following a threat from the North African wing of al-Qaeda, related to the country’s involvement in Mali.
The higher state of alert is one of the reasons why these soldiers are on patrol in central Paris.
Shortly after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, a man was filmed nearby saying he had carried out the attack because British soldiers killed Muslims every day.
Two men have been arrested and remain in hospital after they were shot by police.
Both men were known to the British security services.
MI5 asked Michael Adebolajo if he wanted to work for them about six months before Woolwich attack, his childhood friend Abu Nusaybah has claimed.
During a BBC interview, Abu Nusaybah said his friend Michael Adebolajo – one of two men arrested after Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder in south-east London on Wednesday – had rejected the approach from the security service.
Abu Nusaybah, 31, was arrested at the BBC after giving the interview.
BBC’s Newsnight reporter Richard Watson said after the interview had concluded he left the studio to find officers from the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism unit waiting to arrest Abu Nusaybah.
The Met confirmed Abu Nusaybah had been arrested at 21:30 BST on Friday in relation to suspected terrorism offences and search warrants were being executed at two homes in east London.
The arrest was not directly related to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, it said.
Soldier Lee Rigby was killed in front of dozens of people near Woolwich Barracks, where he was based, on Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who was also arrested at the scene, remain in hospital after being shot by police.
In his Newsnight interview, Abu Nusaybah said he thought “a change” had taken place in his friend after a trip to Kenya last year.
Abu Nusaybah was arrested after a TV interview where he claimed MI5 asked Michael Adebolajo to work for them about 6 months before Woolwich attack
Abu Nusaybah said Michale Adebolajo had told him he travelled there “to study”, but instead, was part of a group rounded up by “Kenyan troops” and interrogated in a prison cell.
During his detention he said he was “beaten quite badly”, Abu Nusaybah said, and in his opinion, his friend had also been subjected to sexual abuse, although he was too “ashamed” to say exactly what happened.
After this, he became withdrawn “and less talkative – he wasn’t his bubbly self”, Abu Nusaybah said, adding: “His mind was somewhere else.”
Abu Nusaybah also said Michael Adebolajo was “stopped” upon his return to the UK from Kenya and was later “followed up by MI5” who were “knocking on his door”.
He was “basically being harassed”, Abu Nusaybah said.
Abu Nusaybah added: “His wording was, <<They are bugging me – they won’t leave me alone.>>
“Initially they wanted to ask him if he knew certain individuals.
“But after him saying that he didn’t know these individuals, what he said was they asked him if he would be interested in working for them.
“He was explicit in that he refused to work for them but he did confirm he didn’t know the individuals.”
Reporter Richard Watson said that, in general terms, it was not out of the ordinary for the security service to approach people for information or even to act as covert sources.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, originally from Romford, east London, and fellow suspect Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, south-east London, had been known to MI5 for eight years, officials confirmed on Thursday.
Two women, aged 29 and 31, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, have been released without charge, but a man, 29, remains in custody.
Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline, but the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.
On Friday, Drummer Lee Rigby’s wife Rebecca, the mother of his two-year-old son, said she had been aware of the dangers of her husband serving in countries where there was armed conflict, including Afghanistan, but added: “You don’t expect it to happen when he’s in the UK. You think they’re safe.”
Rebecca Rigby said: “I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife. He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly.”
Drummer Lee Rigby’s stepfather, Ian Rigby, said: “We would like to say <<Goodnight Lee, rest in peace our fallen soldier. We love you loads and words cannot describe how loved and sadly missed you will be>>.”
Ian Rigby added that his stepson “adored and cared a lot for his family, he was very much a family man, looking out for his wife, young son Jack, younger sisters, whom in turn they looked up to him”.
It was reported today that MI5 had been monitoring the two fanatics responsible for the slaughter of a young soldier near Woolwich barracks for eight years.
The Security Service is facing an inquiry by MPs amid a raft of devastating revelations about the killers’ known links to Islamist extremism.
One of the suspects – Michael Adebolajo – was so high profile he was photographed outside Paddington Green police station six years ago behind notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Michael Adebolajo was even intercepted by officials as he attempted to travel to Somalia to fight alongside Islamist terrorists last year.
It also emerged that Michael Adebolajo, 28, was a violent ex-prisoner who was a member of a banned terrorist group.
Incredibly, he was said to have been preaching jihad on the streets of Woolwich earlier this week, only a few hundred yards from where 25-year-old Army Drummer Lee Rigby – a married father – was beh**ded.
As MI5 faced accusations that they let the men slip through the net, British PM David Cameron ordered a full intelligence review by a Westminster committee.
Police chiefs described the counter terrorism investigation, one of the largest in recent history, as “complex and fast-moving”.
Michael Adebolajo and his friend remained under armed guard in separate hospitals being treated for gunshot wounds. They are expected to recover fully.
MI5 had been monitoring the two fanatics responsible for the slaughter of a young soldier near Woolwich barracks for eight years
The second suspect was reported last night by news outlets including Channel 4 News and The Times to be Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, south-east London.
The victim was named yesterday as Drummer Lee Rigby, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who has a two-year-old son.
The young soldier was run over and ha**ed to death with a meat cleaver and knives near his barracks in Woolwich, South East London.
Minutes later the two Islamists were gunned down by firearms officers after charging towards them in an apparent attempt to kill themselves.
The atrocity triggered a wave of national revulsion as British Prime Minster David Cameron branded it an attack on the British way of life and a “betrayal of Islam”.
PM David Cameron said there was no justification for the attack and the responsibility lay purely with the “sickening individuals” behind it.
He added: “This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms.”
The list of questions faced by the authorities was growing fast as evidence of the danger the two men posed to Britain grew.
Sources said both men featured in “a number” of counter terrorism investigations in recent years but were not seen as a “threat to life”.
Yet Michael Adebolajo, who was born in South London but is of Nigerian descent, was linked to Anjem Choudary as long ago as 2003.
The former fitness instructor is believed to have been a member of Al Muhajiroun, which was led by the hate preacher until it was banned by the Government.
Michael Adebolajo was jailed at least once for violence and friends said he was a member of a gang of knife-wielding street robbers in his hometown of Romford, Essex.
Footage showed him standing directly behind Anjem Choudary during a protest outside Paddington Green police station in April 2007.
It is believed he may have also been held by the Met in 2006 after protesting outside the Old Bailey during the trial of four Muslim men.
The defendants were ultimately jailed for their part in protests at the Danish embassy in London against cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and an unnamed accomplice are believed to have knocked off duty Drummer Lee Rigby down with a Vauxhall Tigra as he walked back to the Woolwich Barracks at 2.20 p.m. yesterday, crushing his body against a road sign.
Government sources confirmed that the names of both suspects were on a list maintained by the security services, but stressed it was unclear what level of surveillance they were under.
The blood-soaked man identified as Michael 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.
Police today defended their response to the killing after eyewitnesses claimed they took up to 20 minutes to arrive at the scene.
Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne, said: “One point I would like to address is around some of the speculation as to how long it took the Met to respond yesterday as this incident started to unfold.
“We first received a 999 call from the public at 2.20 p.m. stating a man was being attacked, further 999 calls stated that the attackers were in possession of a gun. We had officers at the scene within nine minutes of receiving that first 999 call.
Michael Adebolajo named as suspect over Lee Rigby killing in Woolwich attack
“Once that information about a gun or guns being present was known firearms officers were assigned at 2.24 p.m. Firearms officers were there and dealing with the incident 10 minutes after they were assigned, 14 minutes after the first call to the Met.”
Police were today seen outside a detached house in a Lincolnshire village where they raided a home where Michael Adebolajo is listed as having lived in the past.
There was no answer at the address believed to be that of Michael Adebolajo’s father, named by neighbors as Anthony Adebolajo.
Michael Adebolajo was born in Lambeth, south London, in 1985 to a Christian family of Nigerian descent.
At the age of 15 or 16 he started getting involved in Islam and started to speak about Jihadi ideas.
Michael Adebolajo joined several extremist groups – including Al Muhajiroun – that were banned in Britain and in 2003 converted to Islam, calling himself Mujaheed while at Marshalls Park School.
Fearing he had become radicalized, his parents moved him away from Romford to a village in Lincolnshire.
Michael Adebolajo then went to university in Greenwich, living in Eltham while he was a student.
A former friend told the Evening Standard that Michael Adebolajo was a Christian.
The friend said: “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 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.
Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is the soldier killed in the London machete attack near Woolwich Barracks.
Lee Rigby, 25, from Manchester, leaves behind a two-year-old son.
Two men are under arrest in hospital after police shot them near Woolwich Barracks on Wednesday afternoon, in the aftermath of the attack.
The suspects, believed to include Michael Adebolajo, were known to security services, sources have said.
The victim’s name was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) pending formal police identification.
“An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers,” the MoD statement said.
“He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan.”
Lee Rigby had joined the Army in 2006, and is described as a “loving father to his son Jack” and someone who would be “sorely missed by all who knew him”.
He had taken up a post with the Regimental Recruiting Team in London in 2011.
“An experienced and talented side drummer and machine gunner, he was a true warrior and served with distinction in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus,” said 2nd Fusiliers commanding officer Lt Col Jim Taylor.
“His ability, talent and personality made him a natural choice to work in the recruiting group.”
Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is the soldier killed in the London machete attack near Woolwich Barracks
Capt. Alan Williamson said: “Drummer Rigby or <<Rigger>>’ as he was known within the platoon was a cheeky and humorous man, always there with a joke to brighten the mood.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “This was a senseless murder of a soldier who has served the Army faithfully in a variety of roles including operational tours in Afghanistan.
“Our thoughts today are with his family and loved ones who are trying to come to terms with this terrible loss.”
Speaking earlier outside 10 Downing Street, PM David Cameron said the attacks were “solely and purely” the responsibility of the individuals involved.
Philip Hammond was asked if the attack showed how vulnerable soldiers were, whether they were in uniform or not.
He replied: “I think it reminds us how vulnerable we all are, but it also reminds us, by the response of the public, that we are not going to be cowed by this kind of terrorist action.”
Chief of Defence Staff General Sir David Richards said: “It’s always a tragedy, it’s particularly poignant that it happened on the streets of this capital city of ours.
“We’re absolutely determined not to be intimated into not doing the right thing – whether it’s here in this country or in Afghanistan or wherever we seek to serve the nation.”
Security at Woolwich Barracks and others in London has been increased, and Gen. David Richards said: “I’m confident that base security is as tight as it’s every been, and necessarily so.
“It’s a very difficult balancing act. We are very proud of the uniform we wear, we have huge support around the country, this is a completely isolated incident.”
Shortly after the killing a man, thought to be 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, was filmed by a passer-by, saying he carried out the attack because British soldiers killed Muslims every day.
Sources said reports the men had featured in “several investigations” in recent years – but were not deemed to be planning an attack – “were not inaccurate”.
It appears that Michael Adebolajo, a Briton of Nigerian descent, comes from a devout Christian family but took up Islam after leaving college in 2001.
Since British forces intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan, they and their families have been well aware they might be targets at home.
At least two plots by Islamist extremists to kill soldiers in the UK have been foiled in recent years.