GUILTY: Killers who claimed they were ‘soldiers of Allah’ convicted for brutal slaying of Manchester’s Lee Rigby

By James Metcalf

Two men charged with slaying Middleton-born Lee Rigby close to his Woolwich Barracks have been found guilty.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, murdered Lee Rigby, 25, in South London in May.

The men were convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey in central London, which heard that the soldier was almost beheaded by the men who had driven a car into him before dragging him into the road and attacking him with knives.

One witness described the act as like a ‘butcher attacking a joint of meat.’

Rigby, a father of one, had previously served a tour of duty in Helmand, Afghanisatin, fighting Islamist militants.

After the attack, Adebolajo was filmed by people on the street. His hands were bloodied and he still held the cleaver as he said: “You people will never be safe.

“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

“We must fight them. I apologise that women had to witness this today. But in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.

“You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin’ our guns? You think politicians are going to die? No it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace.”

During the trail Adebolajo told jurors he was a ‘soldier of Allah’ and had no choice but to obey his commands. He also described how he held the fusilier’s hair as he hacked at his neck.

As verdicts were given Rigby’s relatives broke down in tears.

The men were found not guilty of attempting to murder a police officer at the scene.

Adebolajo and Adebowale face life imprisonment and will be sentenced in the new year.

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