CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Two men describing themselves as “soldiers of Allah” were found guilty Thursday (Dec. 19) of murdering a British soldier in broad daylight in a South East London street earlier this year.
The May 22 murder stunned not only Britain but also the rest of the world.
A jury of eight women and four men took 90 minutes to find Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, guilty of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby, 25, as he approached his regiment’s barracks at Woolwich.
Both men were acquitted of attempting to murder a police officer. They pleaded not guilty to murder, though neither denied taking part in the attack.
Rigby was returning to his barracks on foot when he was hit by a car, stabbed and almost decapitated.
Adebolajo was filmed by a passerby moments after the attack. Pictures of his blood-soaked hands holding a cleaver and knife horrified the public when they were published in several tabloids the following day.
In a video, Adebolajo kept repeating the biblical phrase, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
After the verdict was read out to a silent court, Adebolajo smiled and kissed a copy of the Quran, which he had been holding throughout the trial.
Both men claimed they were not murderers but “soldiers of Allah“ at war with Britain over its foreign policies.
As the verdict was read, the distraught family of the dead soldier wept. Others broke down.
YS/AMB END GRUNDY