Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: London Attack - Both Suspects Are Nigerians

Photo: Leadership
Suspected terrorist

The second suspect in the brutal killing a British soldier, Lee Right, of the 2nd Battallion, the Royal Regiment of fusiliers, is also a Nigerian-born British, LEADERSHIP FRIDAY can now reveal.

The second attacker, who was not named, was arrested at the scene of the incident by the British police. He is aged 22.

LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported yesterday that a Nigerian-born British, Muhajeed Adebolaja, 28, was one of the two attackers that hacked the British soldier to death.

His assailants were said to have run him down with a car before coming out of the car to kill him with meat cleavers and knives.

It has also been established that both suspects are on the watchlist of the British Anti-terrorist Unit for having a history of religious fanaticism before their brutal killing of the Bristish soldier.

The late soldier, Right, 25, from Manchester, leaves behind a two-year-old son.

LEADERSHIP also gathered that the suspect, Adebolaja, attended Marshall's Park School in Romfort at the age of 16. He also attended Green University, between 2004 and 2005, where he obtained a diploma. The course he studied was not stated but he was reported as being in the habit of preaching in favour of extremists while at school.

Adebolaja was to form an Islamic group in 2004 but the authorities of the university refused to register the association when it became clear that his aim was to promote Islam. A source said he was leading several pro-Islam protests towards the end of his course. He got suspended twice in 2005 as a result of his open religious protests in the university.

The BBC also reported yesterday that he was intercepted last year on his way to Somalia to join the Al-Shabab terrorist group.

Scotland Yard said counter-terrorism officers arrested a man and a woman, both 29, yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. Both suspects are in custody at a south London police station.

Adebolaja and his fellow Nigerian-born British, who were shot and arrested by police at the scene Wednesday, remain hospitalised and in stable condition with injuries that are not life-threatening, police added.

The two Muslim hardliners were seen wielding blood-soaked butcher's knives after the killing of the soldier.

Adebolaja took part in demonstrations with the banned radical group, al-Muhajiroun.

Former al-Muhajiroun head, Anjem Choudary identified Adebolaja, a Christian who converted to Islam around 2003, and took part in several of the group's demonstrations in London.

Omar Bakri Muhammad, who now lives in Lebanon but had been a radical Muslim preacher in London, also said he recognised the man seen on television as Adebolaja, and said he attended his London lectures in the early 2,000s. Police have not named Adebolaja's accomplice.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the brutal killing of the soldier by two men shouting Jihadist slogans was a betrayal of Islam.

"We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms," Cameron told reporters outside his Downing Street residence yesterday.

"This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life, it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act," he said.

Cameron said the country would remain resolute in its opposition to terrorism.

"This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror," he said.

The victim's name was announced by the Ministry of Defence pending formal police identification. A post-mortem examination was being carried out yesterday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence described the late soldier as an extremely popular and witty soldier.

"Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers.

"He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan. He had joined the Army in 2006, and is described as a loving father to his son, Jack, and someone who would be sorely missed by all who knew him," it said.

Meanwhile, British authorities have approached Nigeria's State Security Service (SSS) to help unravel the history of Adebolaja, Premium Times reports.

But the SSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, said she was not aware of any request by the British security agencies.

Jonathan condemns killing of soldier

But President Goodluck Jonathan has, in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, condemned the incident, which he described as unfortunate.

He conveyed "his sincere condolences to the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the British people over this senseless and barbaric act, and shares their grief at this moment".

"President Jonathan notes that a terrorist attack anywhere is an attack on the way of life of all free nations and must be collectively condemned by all persons irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion", Abati added.

The statement made available to LEADERSHIP last night reads in part: "It is in this spirit that the Nigerian government is partnering with the British government as well as all other stakeholder sovereigns to stand up to and fight terrorism and extremism in whatever guise or pretence it chooses to present itself.

"President Jonathan recognises that each environment presents its own unique challenges and peculiarities, and actions taken by affected nations may differ, yet the resolve to confront and defeat this threat should never be in doubt.

"President Jonathan says Nigerians are collectively resolute about the need to protect the freedoms that define our existence and inter-relationships at home and overseas. Our recent past tells us that when we pull together, this common enemy and threat will eventually be defeated".

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