Man held on terrorism charges after BBC interview

Saturday 25 May 2013 22.12
Detectives continue to question a 29-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder
Detectives continue to question a 29-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder

A man has been arrested on terrorism charges in London after claiming on television that one of the suspects in the killing of Lee Rigby was asked by MI5 to spy for them.

In a separate incident, two people are due in court in London today charges with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour.

Detectives are continuing to question a 29-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, as well as suspects Michael Adebolajo and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale - who remain in hospital after being shot by police when they charged towards armed officers.

Two women - aged 29 and 31 - have both been released without charge after they were held on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Last night a man claiming to be a childhood friend of Adebolajo told BBC's Newsnight programme he had been approached by MI5 six months ago and asked if he would work for the security service.

Abu Nusaybah told the BBC Adebolajo had rejected the approach, but said he knew certain individuals MI5 was interested in.

Nusaybah was arrested at the BBC following the interview. The Metropolitan Police said a 31-year-old man was arrested in relation to terrorism offences and search warrants were executed at two addresses in east London.

The arrest was not directly linked to Drummer Rigby's death, the Met said.

Speaking earlier at the regimental HQ of Drummer Rigby's unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, Greater Manchester, the soldier's stepfather Ian read a statement from the family.

He said: "What can we say about Lee, our hero? We are so so proud of Lee.

"When Lee was born the family adored him, he was a precious gift given to us.

Drummer Rigby's wife Rebecca, mother to their two-year-old son Jack, said through tears that he was "a devoted father".

The family also revealed the last text message that Drummer Rigby sent to his mother Lyn.

It said: "Goodnight mum, I hope you had a fantastic day today because you are the most fantastic and one in a million mum that anyone could ever wish for.

Searches continued at various addresses yesterday - three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Saxilby, Lincolnshire, the former home of Adebolajo.

A neighbour of Adebowale, of Greenwich, south-east London, said that he had always seemed "normal" and was "a nice bloke".

Drummer Rigby was hit by a car and then attacked with weapons including a knife and a meat cleaver.

He has been formally identified but the cause of his death was not confirmed by a post-mortem examination. An inquest will be opened, Scotland Yard said.

His suspected attackers, who were caught on film in the wake of the murder, were British and of Nigerian descent.

The pair were known to security services and apparently shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") as they struck.

Hundreds of bunches of flowers were tied to the railings of the barracks at the corner of John Wilson Street and Artillery Place, or placed on the wall, near where Drummer Rigby died.

Among the floral tributes were small wooden crosses bearing poppies, with "In Remembrance" written underneath.

Cards and messages read "Goodnight and God bless young man", "Such a senseless act" and "A young man taken so tragically".

Mayor of Greenwich Angela Cornforth and council leader Chris Roberts said: "Woolwich is a place born out of the Army and it runs through the DNA of the town and many of its people.

"This is a place which has witnessed attacks on our armed service personnel before, not least the terrorist attack by the IRA almost 40 years ago.

"Then, as now, the people and communities of Woolwich have shown their pride in our armed services and respect for the role they play and the risks they undertake.

A steady stream of wellwishers continued to lay flowers near the scene of the murder, with bouquets numbering in their thousands.

Many carried cards and messages, while a Union flag was tied to railings with the message: "You lived a hero and died at the hands of two cowards," written across it.

Among those coming to pay their respects was British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin, who claimed he had come for personal rather than political reasons.

Mr Griffin's visit was criticised as "provocative" by Akbar Khan, chairman of the anti-racist and community development organisation Building Bridges.

He said: "It is a provocative action by Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, to go to the place where this young soldier was murdered. All Muslims have come out and condemned this act of violence.

"Given the serene and sad atmosphere prevailing in the country, because of this person's death, he is being very cynical and exploiting the raw nerves for his benefit, and we say it is just and fair that there should be no politics over dead bodies.