JOHN F. BURNS
May 26, 2013
Britain’s security agencies appeared headed for a period of deeply uncomfortable scrutiny after the government said Sunday that it had been aware for more than two years that one of the two men suspected of hacking an off-duty British soldier to death on a London street had ties to Al Qaeda.
A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that the ministry had provided “consular assistance” in Kenya in 2010 to the man, Michael Adebolajo, 28, a British citizen of Nigerian descent. He had been arrested by the Kenyan police on suspicion of planning to join Al Shabab, an extremist group in Somalia that Britain has classified as a terrorist organization.
Mr. Adebolajo and the other suspect in the London attack — Michael Adebowale, 22, also of Nigerian origin — have been under armed police guard in separate London hospitals since the attack last Wednesday. The soldier — Lee Rigby, 25 — was run down by a car on the sidewalk outside an army barracks, then attacked with meat cleavers. Police officers arriving on the scene shot and wounded the two suspects.