Police swoop on suspect’s home in quiet village

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ANTI-TERROR police swooped on homes in Lincolnshire and London yesterday as they hunted for information about the two men accused of killing soldier Lee Rigby.

While the two suspected killers were under armed guard in different London hospitals, detectives were searching an address in the quiet Lincolnshire village of Saxilby.

Two women lay flowers outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich

Two women lay flowers outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich

The house is thought to be the former home of one of the suspects, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo. It is believed to have been where the Muslim convert, his parents and younger brother and sister lived before he moved away a number of years ago.

Police cars blocked off various roads to the neighbourhood while officers searched a large executive house.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said the first he knew of any major police activity was after he returned home from running errands.

He said: “I went out about 9.30, saw one police car and a few guys starting to walk around.

David Cameron and Mayor of London Borris Johnson speak to members of the local community, during a visit to Woolwich

David Cameron and Mayor of London Borris Johnson speak to members of the local community, during a visit to Woolwich

“I didn’t think much to it but when I came back about one-and-a-half, two hours later, police, media were all here.”

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman thanked residents for their patience and co-operation but said: “We would urge people to be calm and measured in their response to recent events.”

In Greenwich, south east London, police raided a flat on a housing estate as part of the series of raids connected with the murder.

Search warrants were carried out at six addresses in total, including five in London, as part of what the Metropolitan Police said was a “complex and fast-moving investigation”.

The force announced last night that a 29-year-old man and woman had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, but declined to confirm if these were linked to any of the raids.

A spokesman said: “Officers have been gathering information from witnesses, social media and a painstaking trawl of CCTV footage is taking place.

“Forensic experts and specialist search officers have been carrying out a detailed examination of the scene in Woolwich. A number of items have been recovered from the scene.”

Two police vans were parked outside the ground-floor flat in Greenwich, with about a dozen officers stationed outside. The front door had been shattered.

One neighbour said four people had been led away from the flat at 6am, and two children, aged three and seven, were also taken away.

Another spoke of his shock at the raid, having been woken at 6am to see “balaclava-ed, machine-gun wielding policemen smashing the door in”, adding: “I was very surprised to see their door being knocked down. They’re a nice, quiet polite family, who I say hello to when I see them coming and going.

“I would say the sisters are Muslim, from what I’ve seen – I would sometimes see them wearing the hijab and sometimes wearing everyday, normal clothes.”

Neighbour Nicola James, 45, said she believed one of the men arrested was in a relationship with one of the two women who live at the flat and she had seen him recently on the estate.

Ms James said she had not seen the other suspect around the housing estate, but added: “He was always out in Woolwich, giving out radical leaflets.”

A picture of Adebolajo, said by a former neighbour to be “very aggressive”, also started to emerge yesterday.

Born in the London borough of Lambeth and of Nigerian descent, he is believed to have been raised a Christian before becoming involved in Islam in his teens.

His parents, who reportedly feared he had become radicalised, moved him to Saxilby in Lincolnshire.

He is known to have been a preacher on the streets of Woolwich and run an occasional stall, from which he distributed extremist literature condemning the involvement of UK soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was reportedly known to Al Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist organisation, and went by the name of Mujahid.