Tuesday, May 28, 2013
British police arrested a 10th suspect Monday in connection with the
vicious street killing of a soldier in London, an apparent Islamic
extremist attack that has horrified the country and heightened racial
The 50-year-old man was detained in Welling, east of London, on
suspicion of conspiring to murder 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby,
Scotland Yard said. Police gave no further information about the
The latest arrest came as more details trickled out about the
background of Michael Adebolajo, 28, one of the two main British
suspects in Wednesday’s slaying. He and Michael Adebowale, 22, were shot
and wounded by police at the scene.
Rigby, an off-duty soldier
who had served in Afghanistan, was run over by a vehicle and repeatedly
attacked with meat cleavers Wednesday afternoon near his barracks in
British officials say the two main suspects had
been known to them for some time, but revelations that Adebolajo had
been arrested in Kenya in 2010 — and claims that British security
officials had tried to recruit him as an informer after that — have
fueled questions about whether U.K. authorities could have done more to
prevent last week’s killing.
Adebolajo and Adebowale remain under
armed guard in separate London hospitals. Four other men and the suspect
arrested Monday remain in custody at a London police station, while one
other man has been released on bail. Two women were released without
charge in the case.
On Monday, a London-based rights group that
lobbies on behalf of suspected terrorists said Adebolajo and his family
had contacted it about six months ago complaining about harassment from
Britain’s MI5 domestic spy service. A case worker who spoke with him
said he appeared “paranoid and erratic,” the group said.
sister contacted the office to complain about constant harassment from
MI5, which extended to Michael, his brother, and his father also,” said
Moazzam Begg of the London-based group CagePrisoners.
all being approached in different ways,” Begg told The Associated Press
in a telephone interview. “One of them, he lived and worked abroad. He’d
been approached by MI6 (Britain’s external espionage agency) at his
workplace and had been offered some money. They wanted him to work for
Begg said Adebolajo told the caseworker he had been
tortured and threatened with rape while in Kenya, and that he had been
interrogated for several hours upon his return to London. At first,
British intelligence services let him be, Begg said, but in March 2012
they met with him and offered him a job as an informant. Adebolajo
refused, he said.
Kenyan officials on Sunday said Adebolajo was
arrested in Kenya in 2010 with five others near the country’s border
with Somalia. Police believed that Adebolajo was going to work with the
Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab.
spokesman Muthui Kariuki told the AP that Adebolajo, who was carrying a
British passport, was taken to court before he was handed over to
British authorities in Kenya.
Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed
that Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya in 2010 and said the agency
“provided consular assistance.”
It was not clear how Adebolajo
came to be arrested and how he returned to London. Kenyan officials have
denied allegations that he was tortured under interrogation. On Monday,
Kenya’s police chief David Kimaiyo added confusion by contradicting
earlier claims and saying that Adebolajo had “never been arrested in
Earlier, hardline Muslim leaders described Adebolajo as a
British citizen of Nigerian descent who converted to Islam and attended
demonstrations and lectures organized by British radical group
Rigby’s killing and Adebolajo’s apparent links to
radical Islam have fed a spike in anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain, with
police and activists reporting a surge in hate crimes, violence and
Around 1,000 supporters of the far-right group English
Defense League marched through central London on Monday to protest the
soldier’s killing, clashing with a smaller group of anti-fascist
demonstrators and scuffling with riot police. Police arrested 13 people,
mostly on suspicion of causing public disorder.
A mosque in the
northern England town of Grimsby was firebombed Sunday night, according
to the mosque’s chairman, Diler Gharib. Police said they arrested two
people and the fire was extinguished without injuries.
In the West Midlands, police charged two people with racially aggravated public order offenses following a weekend protest.