Four held over soldier's murder
Published 23/05/2013 | 13:02
A total of four people, including the two men shot by police, have now been arrested in connection with the murder of a soldier in Woolwich.
Scotland Yard said a man and a woman, both 29, were held on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and are being questioned at a police station in south London. The two men who were shot, aged 22 and 28, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in hospital in a stable condition with non life-threatening injuries.
Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was brutally murdered in the street in Woolwich, south east London, on Wednesday by two attackers who were British and of Nigerian descent. The pair, who were shot by police, were known to security services, and apparently shouted "Allah Akhbar" as they struck. It is believed that the serving soldier was run over and then hacked to death, yards from a primary school.
Six residential addresses are being searched as part of the investigation, three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Lincolnshire. In a statement, the force said: "This is a large, complex and fast-moving investigation which continues to develop. Many lines of inquiry are being followed by detectives and the investigation is progressing well." Officers have recovered a number of items from the murder scene and continue to appeal for witnesses to get in touch, and send in footage and photographs of what happened. A post-mortem examination was taking place on Drummer Rigby's body.
US president Barack Obama issued a statement to say: "I condemn in the strongest terms the appalling attack against a British service member in Woolwich on May 22. The United States stands resolute with the United Kingdom, our ally and friend, against violent extremism and terror. There can be absolutely no justification for such acts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, the police and security services responding to this horrific act and the communities they serve, and the British people."
Earlier tributes were paid to Drummer Rigby, 25, from Crumpsall, Manchester who had a two-year-old son. He was from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and was attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London. Sergeant Barry Ward said he was "a loving father" to his two-year-old son Jack, and had "a very bubbly character".
A shocked and tearful neighbour outside the family home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, who did not want to be named, said: "He had always wanted to be in the Army since he was knee-high." A steady stream of relatives and friends visited the house throughout the day to support the family. Police and PCSOs also stood guard outside the house and patrolled the street. Drummer Rigby, who joined the Army in 2006, had served in Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he was a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab. A lifelong Manchester United fan, he had also stood outside the Royal Palaces as part of his battalion's public duties commitment.
Officers searched the former home of a man called Michael Adebolajo in Saxilby, Lincolnshire, as well as other addresses in London. Two police vans were stationed outside a ground-floor flat in east Greenwich, south-east London, with about a dozen officers positioned outside. The front door of the flat in Eastney Street had been shattered. One neighbour said four people had been led away from the flat at 6am, and two children, aged three and seven, were also taken away. Another neighbour Nicola James, 45, said she believed one of the men arrested over the Woolwich incident was in a relationship with one of the two women who live at the Greenwich flat. Ms James said she had not seen the other suspect around the housing estate, but added: "He was always out in Woolwich, giving out radical leaflets."
Following a meeting of the Cobra emergency response committee, Prime Minister David Cameron said the attack had "sickened" the country. He said: "This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms."
Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission said it is not pursuing any criminal or misconduct offences in relation to the officers who used their weapons. IPCC investigators have viewed CCTV of what happened, and said two officers fired guns and one discharged a Taser. They have given initial accounts of what happened.