picked to
die ‘as we
spotted him first’

Have your say

THE alleged murderers of Lee Rigby lay in wait for a serviceman to kill and chose the Fusilier just because he was “the soldier that was spotted first”, a jury has heard.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, told detectives that he and his accomplice Michael Adebowale, 22, decided that a soldier “was the most fair target” as they had joined the Army understanding that their life would be at risk, the Old Bailey was told.

The men are accused of mowing Fusilier Rigby down in a car before hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives near Woolwich Barracks in London on May 22.

During a police interview from June 1 played to the court, Adebolajo, covered by a blue blanket with a copy of the Koran in front of him, said he had “set out determined that this way we will obey the command of Allah”.

Referring to Adebowale as Ismail, he told counter-terrorism detectives that the alleged murder was not “a personal vendetta”.

He said: “I have never met the family of Lee Rigby. I do not hate them. I do not hate them, nor does my brother Ismail, he does not. This is not a personal vendetta.”

Describing the day of the killing, he said: “We sat in wait and it just so happened that he was the soldier that was spotted first.”

Adebolajo, who gave his name as Mujahid Abu Hamza, said it was “almost as if Allah had chosen” Lee Rigby, and that he had tried to cut his jugular because that was the most humane way of killing.

“It was almost as if Allah had chosen him, when I thought about obeying Allah in the past I thought maybe it is possible to kill a man by driving into him,” Adebolajo said.

“When he crossed the road in front of me so casually it was almost as if I was not in control of myself.

“I accelerated, I hit him and I think I also crashed into a signpost.”

He went on: “We did not wish to give him much pain... I could see he was still alive.

“The most humane way to kill any creature is to cut the jugular, this is what I believe, this is how we kill our animals in Islam.

“He may be my enemy but he is a man... so I struck at the neck and attempted to remove his head.”

Adebolajo and Adebowale are both accused of murdering the soldier, attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.

They pair have denied all the charges before them.

The trial was adjourned and is expected to resume on Monday.