May 22, 2013
Woolwich, London, England
Two men stab and hack British army soldier Lee Rigby in retaliation for attacks by British armed forces in Islamic countries
The attackers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, ran Rigby down with their vehicle, stabbed and hacked him with a knife and cleaver, and dragged his body into the middle of the road. The men attempted to decapitate Rigby as well. Several bystanders used their bodies to shield Rigby from any further harm.
One bystander filming the scene captured Adebolajo’s explanation of the murder:
The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers. And this British soldier is one…. By Allah, we swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. So what if we want to live by the Sharia in Muslim lands? Why does that mean you must follow us and chase us and call us extremists and kill us?…when you drop a bomb do you think it hits one person? Or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family? …Through many passages in the Koran we must fight them as they fight us…I apologise that women had to witness this today but in our lands women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your governments, they don’t care about you. You think David Cameron is gonna get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think politicians are going to die? No, it’s going to be the average guy, like you and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back…leave our lands and you will live in peace.
The attackers remained on the scene, awaiting police. Both men attempted to charge at the police with the knife, cleaver, and an inoperable revolver. Police shot at the assailants 8 times, wounding both. They were treated in separate hospitals.
During sentencing, the judge presiding, Mr. Justice Sweeney, condemned their actions, calling the murder a “betrayal of Islam,” prompting outbursts from both defendants who were removed while their sentencing continued. Both Adebolajo and Adebowale were found guilty and sentenced to life terms. Adebolajo was given a whole life term and thus will be ineligible for parole. Adebowale was given a life term with a possibility of parole after 45 years. Both have entered appeals for reductions in their sentences, and both have been denied.
The following images may be considered graphic: