[QODLink]
Europe

Defendant in UK soldier killing praises Qaeda

Alleged killer of British off-duty soldier tells London court that he feared 'hellfire' if he did not fight for Allah.

Last updated: 09 Dec 2013 17:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Michael Adebolajo became emotional when he told the court that he feared "hellfire" [AP/Elizabeth Cook]

A man accused of murdering an off-duty British soldier in London has defended his actions in court, saying he carried out the attack because he was a soldier fighting in the service of God.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, told London's Central Criminal Court on Monday that he attacked Lee Rigby, because he wanted to protest Britain's invasion of Muslim lands.

It's a war between Islam and those militaries that invaded Muslim lands. One of them happens to be British military and, unfortunately, the war continues to this day.

Michael Adebolajo

"I am a soldier of Allah. I understand that some people might not recognise this, because we do not wear fatigues," Adebolajo said, flanked by five prison guards in the heavily-secured courtroom.

"It's a war between Islam and those militaries that invaded Muslim lands. One of them happens to be British military and, unfortunately, the war continues to this day."

Adebolajo, who converted to Islam in 2002, became emotional when he told the court that he feared "hellfire" if he did not fight for Allah.

Adebolajo and co-defendant Michael Adebowale, 22, both British citizens, are accused of running over Afghan war veteran in Woolwich, southeast London on May 22 before attacking his unconscious body with knives and a meat cleaver.

The suspects denied the charge.

Adebolajo told the hushed courtroom he admired al-Qaeda, but he never met its members.

Grisly footage

"I love them. They are my brothers," said Adebolajo, giving his name as Mujaahid Abu Hamza. "I have never met them but I love them."

He said he should be ransomed to his "mujaheed [holy fighter] brothers", set free or killed.

Adebolajo said he rushed at the police who arrived at the scene minutes after the killing because his religion forbade him to run away from the enemy.

The jury has been shown footage of Adebolajo with bloodied hands talking to passers-by shortly after dragging Rigby's body into the street so the public could see it.

He and and Adebowale were also shown running at armed police, brandishing weapons, before being shot.

The trial is expected to last a further two weeks.

371

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list