Two found guilty of British soldier’s murder
London: Two Muslim extremists were found guilty on Thursday of hacking to death a British soldier in broad daylight on a London street.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ran over Lee Rigby with a car before attacking him with knives outside his barracks in May.
Adebolajo tried to behead Rigby with a meat cleaver in front of horrified passers-by.
The pair had argued they attacked the 25-year-old soldier to avenge the death of Muslims at the hands of British troops.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain was united in condemnation of the killing, which state prosecutors described as “one of the most savage offences ever prosecuted by our counter-terrorism lawyers”.
Adebolajo kissed his copy of the holy Quran as he was taken down to the cells at the Old Bailey court in London.
Jurors cleared Adebolajo and Adebowale of the attempted murder of a police officer.
The pair were shot by armed police at the murder scene in Woolwich, southeast London, after Adebolajo charged at them waving the meat cleaver, while Adebowale raised a rusty, unloaded gun.
The killers, both Britons who were raised by Nigerian Christian families before converting to Islam, may not be sentenced until January.
The court heard that they believed they were “soldiers of Allah” who were avenging the death of Muslims, but the judge ruled that this could not be used as a defence.
Minutes after the murder, Adebolajo, still wielding the cleaver and with his hands covered with blood, told onlookers the attack was “an eye for an eye”.
“We swear by the Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone,” he said in a rant that was filmed on a witness’s mobile phone.
His widow Rebecca, mother of their toddler son, sobbed as a family spokesman told reporters outside the court: “This has been the toughest time of our lives. No one should have to go through what we’ve been through as a family.”