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London Attack Suspect Leaves Hospital; More Charges Filed
Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:14 am
One of the suspects in the murder last week of British soldier Lee Rigby has been released from the hospital and is in police custody. Michael Adebowale, 22, received treatment after being shot by police following the brutal attack on Rigby in Woolwich, London. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains in the hospital.
After being discharged from the hospital, Adebowale was also arrested under the suspicion of attempting to murder a police officer, reports The Daily Mirror.
More details of that alleged crime were not immediately available.
Monday, British authorities arrested a man suspected of conspiring to murder Rigby, bringing to 10 the number of people arrested since last Wednesday's attack.
Five men who were arrested have been released on bail, The Mirror reports; two women who had been suspected of conspiracy to murder were released without being charged.
Over the weekend, Kenyan officials said that "Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya in 2010 with five others near the country's border with Somalia," the AP reports. "Police believed that Adebolajo was going to work with the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab."
Reports have also emerged in which Adebolajo's friends and relatives say that Britain's MI5 tried to get Adebolajo to spy for them after his arrest in Kenya.
"They asked some questions and they obviously asked him would he be a spy for them," his brother-in-law told ITV News.
The family of Michael Adebolajo, who like Adebowale is a British citizen of Nigerian descent, issued a statement Tuesday in which they expressed their "horror" over Rigby's killing.
"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," the BBC quotes them as saying. The statement continues:
"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."
Update at 7:50 p.m. ET. Adebolajo Was Known To U.K. Intelligence
NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting from London, says that whatever the truth of the claim that MI5 tried to recruit Adebolajo, "there's little doubt [he] was known to British intelligence well before the killing."
He says Home Secretary Theresa May is reportedly considering lowering the threshold on banning extremist Islamic organizations — denying them access to the airwaves and the Internet.
The government, he says, "is contemplating reviving plans for legislation allowing police and intelligence agencies greater access to emails and other electronic communications.
"This is highly controversial," Reeves says. "The British value their privacy."