On Wednesday police shot and arrested two men after they attacked and killed an unnamed solider in the middle of a busy street in Woolwich, South East London. They were carrying knives, meat cleavers and a firearm.
As the two men recover in hospital, details are slowly beginning to emerge of who they are and what motivated them.
They are Michael Adebolajo (left), originally of Romford, Essex, and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale (right), 22, of Greenwich, South East London.
Both are believed to be British-born Muslims of Nigerian descent. Senior Whitehall sources have told the BBC that both men were known to security services for their radical views, although at this stage neither are thought to be linked to terror groups and were not under surveillance before the attack.
The Guardian has obtained information on Michael Olumide Adebolajo, the man who appeared on the vast majority of this morning’s newspapers holding a bloody meat cleaver.
He was born in Lambeth in 1984 and attended Marshalls Park school in the Harold Hill area of the town. He was raised with his one brother and one sister by Christian parents, who are of Nigerian origin. Adebolajo also attended Greenwich University between 2004 and 2005. He is believed to have converted to Islam about ten years ago.
For more information and accounts from his friends, read the full Guardian report.
Police today raided a detached house in Saxilby, a Lincolnshire village where Adebolajo is listed as having once lived.
A spokesman told The Daily Mail: “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.”
Police and forensics have also searched a Woolwich flat thought to be linked to one of the men.
4. “He was a pleasant, quiet guy.”
The Independent has been told by the former leader of a banned Islamist organisation that Adebolajo also went by the name Mujahid.
Anjem Choudary, who lectured for the group, Al Muhajiroun, said Mujahid or ‘Michael’ had converted to Islam in 2003, but stopped attending meetings two years ago. He said:
[Adebolajo] was a pleasant, quiet guy. He reverted 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 denied that Adebolajo could have been radicalised by his teachings, instead blaming the proliferation Al Qaeda-linked material on the internet.
5. Adebolajo’s rant.
WARNING: Graphic content.
“The reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.
And this British soldier is one. It is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. By Allah, we swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting until you leave us alone.
So what if we want to live by the Sharia in Muslim lands? Why does that means you must follow us and chase us and call us extremists and kill us.
Rather you lot are extreme. You are the ones that when you drop a bomb you think it hits one person?
Or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family?
That is the reality. By Allah if I saw your mother today with a buggy I would help her up their stairs. This is my nature.
We are forced by (inaudible Arabic) through many passages in the Koran we must fight them as they fight us.
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
I apologise that women had to witness this today but in our lands women have to see the same.
You people will never be safe. Remove your governments, they don’t care about you.
You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our gun, 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 all live in peace.
So leave our lands and we can all live in peace, that’s all I have to say.
Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you.”
- Two bomb attacks in Nigeria's central city of Jos killed at least 44 people.