UK Murder: Adebolajo, Adebowale Found Guilty

Two men have been convicted of murdering a soldier in broad daylight near a military barracks in London, in the first al-Qaida-inspired attack to claim a life on British soil since 7 July 2005.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, murdered Lee Rigby, 25, as he returned to the Woolwich barracks in south London, in May.

They were convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey in central London, which heard that the soldier was almost beheaded in the attack.

The jury took just over 90 minutes to reach its verdicts. Both men were found not guilty of the attempted murder of a police officer. Relatives of Rigby cried as the verdicts were given.

Mr Justice Sweeney, who ordered that the decisions be heard in silence, said he would pass sentence after a key appeal court ruling on the use of whole life terms in January.

Adebolajo looked at the press and kissed his Qur’an as he was taken to the court cells.

Adebolajo, from Romford, Essex, and Adebowale, from Greenwich, south London, claimed they were soldiers of Allah and their violence was a reprisal against western foreign policy, which had led to the deaths of Muslims.

At the time of the attack, Rigby was attached to the regimental recruiting team and was on his way back to barracks in Woolwich from a shift working at the Tower of London. Previously he had served a tour of duty in Helmand, Afghanistan, fighting Islamist militants.

After Rigby was attacked in the street, Adebolajo was filmed on the mobile phones of passersby, justifying the murder as a strike against the west, in language echoing the propaganda of violent jihad.

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