Woolwich suspect moved to custody

Family of suspect releases statement expressing sorrow over soldier’s death

Members of Muslim group Minhaj-ul-Quran hold up books that call for a fatwa against suicide bombers, near the scene of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

Members of Muslim group Minhaj-ul-Quran hold up books that call for a fatwa against suicide bombers, near the scene of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

 

The family of one of the men suspected of murdering a soldier in Woolwich today expressed “profound shame and distress” over the death, as a second accused killer was discharged from hospital after being shot by police.

Relatives of Michael Adebolajo (28) released a statement sending their “heartfelt condolence” to Lee Rigby’s family, and saying there is no place for violence in the name of religion.

He and Michael Adebowale (22) were both shot by police in the wake of Drummer Rigby’s death after apparently charging towards armed officers.

Adebowale was discharged from hospital this afternoon and moved to police custody.

The Adebolajo family said: “Nothing we can say can undo the events of last week. However, as a family, we wish to share with others our horror at the senseless killing of Lee Rigby, and express our profound shame and distress that this has brought to our family.

“We send our heartfelt condolence to Lee Rigby’s family and loved ones.”

They said that they “wholeheartedly condemn” terrorism, and “fully expect” that Drummer Rigby’s killers will be brought to justice.

The statement said: “We wish to state openly that we believe that there is no place for violence in the name of religion or politics. We believe that all right thinking members of society share this view wherever they were born and whatever their religion and political beliefs.

“We wholeheartedly condemn all those who engage in acts of terror and fully reject any suggestion by them that religion or politics can justify this kind of violence.

“We unreservedly put our faith in the rule of law and with others fully expect that all the perpetrators will be brought to justice under the law of the land.”

Drummer Rigby was hacked to death near Woolwich barracks in south east London last Wednesday and Adebowale and Adebolajo were both arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Today, Adebowale was further arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer.

So far, 10 people have been held by detectives investigating the young soldier’s death, including Adebowale and Adebolajo.

These include a 50-year-old man who was held in Welling, south-east London, yesterday and is currently being questioned.

A 22-year-old man arrested in Highbury, north London, on Sunday and three men detained on Saturday over the killing have all been released on bail, as has a fifth man, aged 29.

Two women, aged 29 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but later released without charge.

In the wake of the attack it emerged that Adebolajo and Adebowale were both known to MI5.

Adebolajo was also arrested by Kenyan authorities three years ago because they feared he was attempting to join an al Qaida-linked militant group, the country’s anti-terrorism police said.

The murder has sparked a flurry of activity by the English Defence League and yesterday more than 1,000 supporters marched to Downing Street chanting “Muslim killers off our streets” and “There’s only one Lee Rigby”.

A massive police presence kept them separate from a smaller group of anti-fascist activists, with officers making 13 arrests in total for a range of public-order offences.

Forces charity Help for Heroes announced it will not accept any donations raised by EDL leader Tommy Robinson or other members of the group, or any political party.

Police are now investigating two attacks by vandals on the RAF Bomber Command memorial and the Animals in War memorial in London.

Both were daubed with graffiti and although the words written on the two memorials have now been covered up, it is thought “Islam” had been written on each of them.

British home secretary Theresa May has strongly indicated she would seek to revive legislation giving security agencies access to public communications data.

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “We are now working through across the government what action we can take but I’m clear, the law enforcement agencies, the intelligence agencies need access to communications data and that is essential to them doing their job.”

Her disclosure came after Downing Street confirmed the launch of a new terror taskforce to crack down on extremism.

The group, comprising Cabinet ministers and top police and security service officials, will focus on radical preachers who seek out potential recruits in prisons, schools, colleges and mosques.

PA