Blame game: MI5 faces probe over Woolwich killing



Published time: May 24, 2013 09:36

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UK security services will be investigated after it was found that MI5 knew of both suspects in the Woolwich murder for eight years. Accusations of blame have been rife following the killing, with many blaming UK foreign policy as the root of the tragedy.

Security services have been put to questioning after it was
found that the two suspected Woolwich murderers had been flagged by
MI5 for eight years. In response to the discovery, a House of
Commons inquiry will be launched into the British security
services’ handling of the murder.

However, security officials maintain that despite having a
record of the two suspects, the attack would have been near
impossible to prevent. Intelligence expert Glenn
Montravor said that the suspects — Mr. Adebolajo, 28,
and Mr Adebowale, 22 — likely had no intention to commit such a
crime, and that their time and target was chosen at
random.

“Even though our security services were aware of these
perpetrators, it is almost impossible to predict when people
suddenly, almost by happenstance, choose the time and place, and
this poor unfortunate soldier was the target,”
Montravor told
RT.

The two suspects were shot by police after hacking to death Army
Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, in broad daylight on Wednesday in the
Woolwich area of East London. They are currently in separate
hospitals under police surveillance and awaiting questioning.

A framed photograph of Drummer Lee Rigby lies amongst floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks in London on May 23, 2013, a day after the murder of a British soldier nearby (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

“These sort of individualistic, lone-wolf style attacks, that
don’t require great planning, don’t require some sort of specialist
equipment, will become one of the main ways that people make a
protest,”
said Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence
officer.

It was found that one of the aggressors in the attack was a
Muslim convert. Michael Adebolajo came to Islam later in life upon
leaving university when he joined a now-banned Islamist
organization al-Muhajiroun. He also took the new name Mujaahid —
meaning the one who engages in Jihad. Adebolajo was an active
member of the group and attended regular meetings and
demonstrations.

Speculation has been rampant as to what drove the suspects to
commit the murder — what the two men called an
“eye-for-an-eye” act to avenge Muslims killed abroad by UK
troops. Many have suggested that the attack was blowback against
British participation in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

“If you listen to the words of the attackers themselves, it’s
clear they wished to bring the war they saw on the streets of
Baghdad and Kabul onto the streets of London,”
Jamie Bartlett,
a security expert from UK think tank Demos told RT.

London Mayor Boris Johnson was quick to quash claims that the
attacks were driven by extreme Islam or UK foreign policy. However,
former Mayor Ken Livingstone accused Johnson of barefaced lying:
“They are lying. They are completely complicit with the US
policy just like Tony Blair was with George Bush. They aren’t
prepared to stand up and say, well we think this strategy has been
a disaster,”
he told RT.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson (C) arrives at a police cordon in Woolwich, London on May 23, 2013, at the site of the murder of a soldier by two suspected Islamists (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

The UK’s military presence abroad is inspiring extremist attacks
in Great Britain, an anonymous British solider told RT’s Sara
Firth.

“But also the argument’s to be made because we’re out there,
we’re inspiring them or motivating them,”
he told RT. “Our
presence out there is sort of motivating the cells that are back in
the UK to operate more and carry out more attacks.”

UK Muslim groups have decried the attack as an abomination, and
condemned extremism. Thousands of Ahmadiyya Muslims are expected to
gather in London on Friday to offer prayers to Drummer Rigby.

This article originally appeared on: RT