Woolwich murder probe: Three more arrests
- 26 May 2013
- From the section UK
Three further arrests have been made in connection with the murder of off-duty soldier Lee Rigby, police have said.
The Met said counter terrorism officers arrested three men, aged 21, 24 and 28, on Saturday evening on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder - a Taser was used on two of them.
Drummer Rigby was run over and then attacked in Woolwich on Wednesday.
Two men arrested on suspicion of murder at the scene remain in custody in hospital in a stable condition.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were shot and wounded by police.
A 29-year-old man, arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, has been bailed to return pending further inquiries. Two women, aged 29 and 31, also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder on Thursday, were released without charge on Friday.
In other developments:
- A taskforce - chaired by the prime minister - is to be set up to "look again" at government strategy on dealing with radicalisation and extremism
- French authorities are investigating whether the stabbing of a soldier in a Paris suburb was a copycat attack. The soldier, who was stabbed in the neck by an unknown man who escaped, is in a stable condition
- Referring to allegations made by a friend of Woolwich murder suspect Mr Adebolajo that he was abused by security forces during a visit to Kenya last year, the African country has denied he ever visited
- Despite this denial, the Independent on Sunday is one of a number of papers to feature a picture it says is of Mr Adebolajo appearing in court in Kenya in 2010 accused "of being at the centre of an al-Qaeda-inspired plot"
- MI5 director general Andrew Parker is expected to present an initial report to a Parliamentary committee next week about what the security services knew about the two murder suspects
- Several people face charges over comments posted on social media sites following a backlash of anger over Drummer Rigby's killing
- There has been a large increase in anti-Muslim incidents since Wednesday's murder, an inter-faith charity has said
Police said the arrests made on Saturday evening were made at two locations in south-east London. The 24-year-old and the 28-year-old were arrested at a residential address in south-east London while the 21-year-old was arrested in the street in Charlton Lane, Charlton.
The 21-year-old and 28-year-old were shot with Taser stun guns but neither required hospital treatment, a Met Police statement said.
Search warrants were being carried out at four further south-east London homes on Saturday night, the statement added.
Shortly after the killing of Drummer Rigby on Wednesday afternoon, suspect Mr Adebolajo was filmed by a passer-by saying he had carried out the attack because British soldiers killed Muslims every day.
Both Mr Adebolajo and Mr Adebowale, Britons of Nigerian descent, are understood to be converts to Islam, with Mr Adebolajo originally coming from a Christian family.
Speaking about the fight against the rise of the extremist ideology, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Sir Peter Fahy told the BBC there had been a "steady stream of plots", which had on the whole been foiled by police.
But he said the police and the security services were "particularly concerned" about people travelling from Britain to conflict areas such as Mali, Syria and Iraq and the increase in extremist websites.
Tributes have continued to be paid to Drummer Rigby, with a steady stream of well-wishers adding to the hundreds of flowers already placed near the scene of the killing.
Scores of motorcyclists supporting the Help For Heroes charity rode past the scene in a show of support for Drummer Rigby's family.
And a "solidarity march" by the Nigerian community took place on Saturday morning from Plumstead station to Woolwich town centre.
Prayers will be said on Sunday morning at a service dedicated to Drummer Rigby at St Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, in Woolwich, as well as during a service at the town's St Mary Magdalene Parish Church.
The congregation of his local church in his home town of Middleton, Greater Manchester, will also say prayers.
On Friday, Drummer Rigby's wife Rebecca, the mother of his two-year-old son, said she had been aware of the dangers of her husband serving in countries where there was armed conflict, including Afghanistan, but added: "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe."
She said: "I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife. He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly."
Drummer Rigby's stepfather, Ian Rigby, said: "We would like to say 'Goodnight Lee, rest in peace our fallen soldier. We love you loads and words cannot describe how loved and sadly missed you will be'."