One of the two men being held by police over the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby has been discharged from hospital and moved into custody in a south London police station, Scotland Yard has said.
Michael Adebowale, 22, was also formally arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer. The move comes six days after the killing in Woolwich, south-east London. The family of the second murder suspect, Michael Adebolajo, have expressed “horror” at the killing. Drummer Rigby was repeatedly stabbed in the street by two men, witnesses have said.
Mr Adebowale, from south-east London, and Mr Adebolajo, 28, were shot and injured by police at the scene near Woolwich Barracks on Wednesday. They have been under police guard in hospital. Mr Adebowale will be interviewed by the Met Counter Terrorism Command, Scotland Yard said.
‘The Metropolitan Police said earlier that the men would not be questioned until they had been discharged from hospital, and the time they had spent under arrest so far would not count towards the maximum amount of time they could legally be held without charge.
Both men are Britons of Nigerian descent who are understood to be converts to Islam.
Of the eight other people arrested in connection with the attack so far, five have been bailed and two released without charge. Police are continuing to hold a 50-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Relatives of Mr Adebolajo issued a statement of condolence to Drummer Rigby’s family on Tuesday, saying: “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 our family.”
They continued: “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.”
The statement added: “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.”
‘State of secrecy’
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Mr Adebojalo complained to a human rights group last year that he and his family were being “harassed” by British security services in order to get their help.
Mr Adebojalo was arrested in Kenya in 2010 where he was believed to have been preparing to fight with Somali militant group al-Shabab. He was later deported.
Abu Nusaybah – a childhood friend – told BBC Newsnight on Friday that following the arrest, MI5 contacted Mr Adebojalo to ask him to work for them, but he rejected the approach.
And now Cageprisoners Ltd, which describes itself as representing those who believe they have been wrongly imprisoned in the war on terror, said it had interviewed Mr Adebolajo and his relatives in April 2012.
The organisation said he and his family told them they had received numerous phone calls, text messages and visits from British security agents pressuring them to co-operate.
According to notes from an interview conducted by the group with Mr Adebolajo’s sister, she told them that “due to the harassment, her brother is now forced to live in a state of secrecy, cannot be contacted over the phone”.
Cageprisoners said it had advised the family to contact a solicitor.
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