The Independent reports: One of the two men involved in the Woolwich terror attack was known to a banned Islamist organisation and went by the name of Mujahid, The Independent has learned.
Anjem Choudary, the former leader of the group, Al Muhajiroun, confirmed that he had known the man who was seen on video in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s horrific killing waving a cleaver with bloodied hands and making political statements.
Details began to emerge as Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the Government emergency committee Cobra at 10 Downing Street.
Mr Choudary said Mujahid, who he said had converted to Islam in 2003 and was a British-born Nigerian, had stopped attending meetings of Al Muhajiroun and its successor organisations two years ago. The former solicitor said he had also known “Mujahid” as Michael.
Sources today named one of the suspects as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo.
He told The Independent: “I knew him as Mujahid. He attended our meetings and my lectures. I wouldn’t describe him as a member [of Al Muhajiroun]. There were lots of people who came to our activities who weren’t necessarily members.
“He was a pleasant, quiet guy. He reverted to Islam in about 2003. He was just a completely normal guy. He was interested in Islam, in memorising the Koran. He disappeared about two years ago. I don’t know what influences he has been under since then.”
Founded in 1983 by Islamist Omar Bakri Muhammad, Al Muhajiroun became notorious for attempting to justify the 9/11 attacks and fomenting Islamist rhetoric in Britain.
Mr Choudary, who has long been a controversial figures in Britain’s Islamist circles, has been an outspoken critic of British military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But he insisted that he had never preached that attacks on British troops or security personnel in Britain were justified.
Mr Choudary said: “My position is clear. There is a covenant which says that in return for Muslims being allowed to live peacefully and practice their faith in Britain, then it is forbidden to attack the British authorities, soldiers, in the UK.
“When people go abroad then the inhabitants of those countries have a right to defend themselves. The biggest aggravating factor we have today is British foreign policy.” [Continue reading…]