UK attack: Cops sift through social media
24 May 2013, 07:41
London - British detectives are on Thursday sifting through witness
statements, social media and security camera footage, following the
brutal murder of a serving soldier who survived a tour of duty in
Forensic experts have been combing the scene in
Woolwich for evidence as police searched five properties in London and
one in a village in eastern England
Police also announced the arrests of a man and a woman, both aged 29, for conspiracy to murder.
"This is a large, complex and fast-moving investigation which continues to develop," a spokesperson said.
Minister David Cameron appealed for calm after 25-year-old Rigby was
butchered outside a London army barracks on Wednesday, while an extra 1
200 officers were deployed on the capital's streets in a bid to reassure
The intelligence agencies meanwhile came under
scrutiny after it emerged that the two murder suspects, who were injured
in police gunfire at the scene, had been known to the security
Both men, aged 28 and 22, are believed to be Britons of Nigerian origin.
One of them had frequented meetings by the now-banned Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, its UK leader Anjem Choudary told AFP.
two chief suspects are under arrest in separate hospitals. They are
both stable and their injuries are not life threatening, police said.
a brazen mid-afternoon attack in Woolwich, southeast London, the pair
apparently hacked Rigby with knives and a meat cleaver before attempting
to explain their actions in an Islamist tirade to passers-by.
victim, who has a 2-year-old son Jake, was a machine gunner who served
with Nato-led forces in Afghanistan in 2009, the defence ministry said.
has condemned the "barbaric" attack and said it was likely
terrorist-related, while experts said the murder had the hallmarks of a
militant Islamist attack.
Media reports citing witnesses said the men first ran over their victim in a car before finishing him off with the knives.
A government source said "we will be looking into the possibility that they were known" to the security services.
British media are naming one of the suspects as Michael Adebolajo, a 28-year-old Londoner.
preacher Choudary told AFP Adebolajo was from a Nigerian family,
converted to Islam in 2003 and took the name "Mujahid".
He regularly attended sermons by banned Islamist preacher Omar Bakri, the Al-Muhajiroun founder.
used to attend some of our activities over the years. Very peaceful
chap actually, not violent at all," Choudary said, adding that he lost
contact three years ago.
onlooker footage showed the man thought to be Adebolajo still holding
his weapons and saying they killed Rigby "because Muslims are dying
daily by British soldiers".
Cameron condemned the attack as a "betrayal of Islam".
after chairing a second meeting of Cobra, the government's emergency
response committee, the prime minister branded the murderers
"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," he said outside his
Downing Street office.
He added: "We will never give in to terror -
or terrorism - in any of its forms... This view is shared by every
community in our country."
The murder is the first deadly Islamist
attack in Britain since 2005, when suicide bombers killed 52 people on
London's transport network.
In the video, which has gone viral on the internet, Adebolajo demanded Cameron's government "bring our troops back".
"You people will never be safe. Remove your governments, they don't care about you," he said.
was wearing a top bearing the logo of Help for Heroes, a charity which
supports wounded troops. Its website crashed thanks to the thousands of
people wishing to offer their support, it said.
Flowers have been
laid outside the barracks, which was the venue for shooting events at
the London 2012 Olympics, while security was tightened at other military
sites across the city.
The extra police officers on the city's streets were concentrating on religious venues and transport hubs.
female scout leader who confronted the assailants shortly after the
attack said she told them: "It is only you versus many people. You are
going to lose."
The Muslim Council of Britain has described the murder as "a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam".
President Barack Obama condemned the killing as "appalling" and
"horrific", saying there was "absolutely no justification for such