LONDON – A second man was formally charged yesterday for the killing of Lee Rigby, who was stabbed repeatedly on May 22 in the Woolwich area of southLondon. Michael Adebolajo, a 28-year-old man from Romford in Essex, has been charged with the murder of Rigby, the attempted murder of two police officers, and possession of a firearm. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.
The first man charged, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale from Greenwich, appeared in court on Thursday and was remanded in custody. He is due to appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow. The two men were filmed attacking Rigby, a 25-year-old drummer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, outside theRoyal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich. One anonymous eyewitness quoted by the BBC described the attack: “They grabbed the guy towards the wall then stabbed him — stabbed him, stabbed him, cut his neck, and then dragged him into the middle of the road”. Following the attack, police armed response turned up and disarmed the two men. Both were shot in the confrontation with police and have been recovering in hospital since the attack.
In addition to charging Adebolajo and Adebowale, police have arrested and bailed two men aged 42 and 46 for allegedly illegally supplying guns.
In 2010, reportedly, Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya after allegedly attempting to join the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab, which is linked with al-Qaeda. He was deported back to Britain. Adebolajo had also been associated with the British radical Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, which the British government banned in 2010.
Following the attack, Prime Minister David Cameron flew back to Britain and made a statement condemning the attacks: “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.”