- FOCUS ON REGIONS
- ACTIVIST IMAGES
Published on Saturday, May 25th, 2013
An alleged friend of London soldier murder suspect Michael Adebolajo has been arrested at the BBC after telling the broadcaster British security services had tried to recruit his friend.
Abu Nusaybah told BBC television on Friday that Adebolajo was asked by the MI5 intelligence agency if he wanted to work for them. He said Adebolajo had snubbed the approach.
The BBC said Abu Nusaybah was arrested on its premises after giving the interview.
Scotland Yard said on Saturday counterterror officers had arrested a 31-year-old man in London on suspicion of the ”commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
Abu Nusaybah said he first met Adebolajo in early 2002.
The murder suspect claimed he had been picked up by Kenyan forces and physically assaulted in detention.
Abu Nusaybah said after Adebolajo returned from Kenya, MI5 agents repeatedly called at his home.
”He mentioned initially they wanted to ask him whether he knew certain individuals. But after him saying that he didn’t know these individuals and so forth, what he said is they asked him whether he would be interested in working for them.
”He was explicit in that he refused to work for them.”
The BBC said it could not obtain any confirmation from government ministry sources that Adebolajo had been approached by MI5.
Meanwhile, the family of Drummer Lee Rigby have paid tribute to their ”hero” in a tearful, agonised press conference, saying ”our hearts have been ripped apart from us”.
His stepfather, Ian Rigby, said he had spent frantic hours trying to contact Lee after hearing news of the attack.
”Your heart skips a beat when you see something like that on TV, you know your son is in that area,” he said.
But the family were shocked when, late at night, it was confirmed to them that Drummer Rigby was dead.
He had, after all, survived a tour of duty to Helmand province in Afghanistan as a machine gunner for the Fusiliers and come back alive.
”When in Afghanistan you come to terms with it, you know it’s dangerous,” Ian Rigby said. ”You don’t expect something like that on your doorstep.”
He read out a message from Drummer Rigby’s younger sisters, aged 11 and eight, who said, ”You didn’t deserve this, we are just upset you left us so early.”
His wife, Rebecca, mother of their son Jack, 2, sobbed as she said Drummer Rigby had been due to come up on the weekend ”so we could continue our future together as a family”.
In other developments, police have released without charge two women, aged 29 and 31, arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in connection with the Woolwich attack. A man, 29, also arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder remained in custody.
The two men shot by police at the scene of the attack remained in hospital in a stable condition.
New video footage has emerged showing the confrontation between the suspects and the police.
Shot from above the scene, it appears to show one of the attackers running towards a police car, dropping a shiny metal object, probably a knife. When he is just paces from the car, two shots ring out and he falls to the ground. Four more shots ring out.
A second man appears to point a weapon at the officers, and two more shots are fired. He also falls. With AP.
This article was written by Nick Miller and was first published in the Melbourne Age.