The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 25, 2013

Friend of alleged soldier killer arrested at BBC

— LONDON (AP) — Counterterrorism police on Saturday questioned a friend of Michael Adebolajo, one of two suspects in the killing of an unarmed British soldier, a savage attack that has horrified Britain.

The friend, Abu Nusaybah, was arrested immediately after he gave a BBC Television interview describing how Adebolajo may have become radicalized and alleging that Britain's security services tried to recruit him. Police said Nusaybah was wanted on suspicion of involvement in unspecified acts of terrorism.

Nusaybah said Adebolajo became withdrawn after returning last year from a visit to Kenya, where he claimed he had been arrested and then abused both physically and sexually while in jail. Nusaybah claimed that Britain's domestic spy agency, MI5, approached Adebolajo to recruit him upon his return to Britain about six months ago.

Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are suspected of killing soldier Lee Rigby by hacking his body with knives and a meat cleaver in front of dozens of passersby Wednesday in the southeast London district of Woolwich. The horrific scene was recorded on witnesses' cellphones, with one of the two suspects making political statements and warning of more violence as the soldier lay on the ground.

Police shot both men as they arrived minutes after Rigby's slaying. Both suspects remain under armed guard at two London hospitals.

Questions abound over what could have led the two men to attack Rigby, a 25-year-old ceremonial military drummer and machine-gunner who had served in Afghanistan and was off duty when he was walking near his barracks. Nusaybah's interview offered one possible narrative. He said Adebolajo's behavior changed after he allegedly suffered abuse at the hands of Kenyan security forces.

"Although that change wasn't necessarily one that became overt, aggressive or anything like that, he became ... less talkative. He wasn't his bubbly self," Nusaybah told the BBC.

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