One of the two suspects identified in the hacking to death of a serving British soldier near an army barracks in London has been identified as a Nigerian.
20-year old Michael “Mujahid” Adebolaja who has dual British and Nigerian citizenship was filmed by an onlooker and broadcasted by Britain’s ITV news channel with hands covered in blood and holding a bloodied knife and praising God for the murder.
In the clip, Adebolaja, who converted to Islam and goes by the name “Mujahid” which means “fighter”, was looking angry and agitated, and said, “I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.
“You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.”
It is speculated that he was making referring to Afghanistan, where British troops are part of the international force supporting the Kabul government in its fight against Taliban insurgents.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut short his trip to France to chair an emergency national security meeting, said the attack appeared to be a politically motivated attack.
“It is the most appalling crime,” Cameron said. “The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident.”
“We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them,” he added.
The last terrorist attack in London was in July 2005, when four young Islamists set off suicide bombs on the public transport network, killing 52 people and wounding hundreds. A similar attempted attack two weeks later was thwarted.
British counter-terrorism chiefs have recently warned that radicalized individuals, so-called “lone wolves” who might have had no direct contact with al-Qaida posed as great a risk as those who plotted attacks on the lines of the 2005 attacks.
The dual nationality of the Adebolaja has also led investigators to start exploring a Nigerian link that will help them solve the crime.
Local residents expressed shock at Wednesday’s killing.
“That this can happen in the centre of a busy town, it’s really really shocking and traumatizing for everybody, all local residents,” a witness who gave her name as Tenisan told Reuters in a nearby street.
Ahmed Jama, a 26-year-old resident, laid flowers down at the scene as a sign of respect to the families involved.
“This has nothing to do with Islam, this has nothing to do with our religion. This has nothing to do with Allah,” he said “It has nothing to do with Islam. It’s heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking.”