Rigby murder suspect tells court he should be 'ransomed back to the Mujhadeen', freed to an Islamic state or killed
From the London Evening Standard
Opening his defence from the witness box, Michael Adebolajo said he regretted nothing and insisted “I am a soldier, I am a soldier, I am a soldier”.
Asked what he thought should happen to him now, he replied that he should be “ransomed back to the Mujhadeen”, freed to an Islamic state or killed.
He said he was “disgusted” by the Iraq war and blamed the then Prime Minister Tony Blair for the death of one of his friends killed in an explosion.Adebolajo sat calmly in the witness box between the judge and the jury. He was in place dressed in a tunic jacket buttoned to the neck and surrounded by three seated prison officers when the eight-woman, four-man jury filed into court.
Asked by his barrister David Gottlieb for his name, he replied in a low voice, Mujaahid Abu Hamza, although he had been referred to in court by his birth name.
Questioned about al-Qaeda, Adebolajo told the jury: “I consider them as a mujhadeen group. I love them, they are my brothers, I have never met them but I love them, I consider them my brothers in Islam.” He went on: “I consider myself a mujhadeen, I hope.”
Earlier he told the jury that he drew his political opinions from Allah and the Koran and “not what the majority of people say.” “Most non-Muslims hate my guts because of my actions but that’s not my concern. My concern is: Does Allah love me?”
Adebolajo said he didn’t know 100 per cent that Lee Rigby was a soldier. But he added: “There were some steps that we took before we set out that day. I prayed and begged Allah that we did not target anyone outside the military. . . It continues to be my hope that the life of this one soldier might indirectly save the lives of many, many people both in the Muslim lands and this country. If you die truly and sincerely hoping for Allah’s pleasure than you will be considered a shaheed [martyr].”
The court heard that Adebolajo is married and has six children, including a seven-year-old boy.
He said that, growing up in Romford, the “vast majority” of his friends were white British, and one, Kirk Redpath, joined the Army and was later killed in Iraq.
Adebolajo said he had converted to Islam in his first year at Greenwich University where he was studying building surveying but did not complete his degree. He told the jury: “My religion is everything.
When asked about his attitude to people in authority, he said: “Generally speaking, I don’t get along with them, generally. In most instances I don’t get along with authority, except for my mother and my father.”
As ground rules were set out for his giving evidence, including not speaking over the judge, he said: “I don’t believe in the law.”
He became increasingly emotional, his head rocking from side to side as he told the court: " . . . The British and Americans and French... Allah commands me that I fight them."
Adebolajo has asked to be known as Mujaahid Abu Hamza in court, while Adebowale has asked to be called Ismail Ibn Abdullah.
The case continues.