Friends and relatives of Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo have claimed tomorrow’s inquiry report will be flawed – because their views and opinions haven’t been taken into account.
The criticism centres on the allegations that the security services including MI5 and MI6 had extensive contact with terrorist killer Michael Adebolajo over the years preceding the attack in which he and Michael Adebowale ran-over and butchered the British soldier, and that the inquiry did not approach Adebolajo’s lawyer or family members for interview. The Guardian reports committee sources who claim the report will not name any individual in the intelligence committee as having failed, and will exonerate MI5 for not having prevented the attack.
A redacted version of the report will be released tomorrow, and is believed to stand at around 100 pages. Because inquiry chair Rifkind had access to MI5 files and the director of Security Service and the report contains sensitive information many key elements will be redacted. The Guardian suggests because a friend and family member of Adebolajo were not interviewed, the report could “lack credibility… among British Muslims”.
Michael Adebolajo, who had been a subject of the attention of the Security Service for eight years before the attack attempted to join militant Islamic Group al-Shabab in Somalia in 2010, but was arrested by Kenyan intelligence services before crossing the border. A friend, Abu Nusaybah claims Adebolajo was subject to torture and abuse at the hands of the Kenyans, and that the British security services were complicit.
Nusaybah is also in prison for terror-related offences, has claimed his own incarceration is a direct result of his having voiced these concerns and has written to the head of the inquiry, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. He wrote from prison: “I believe my arrest was ordered by the intelligence services because I made the information public.
“I implore you to investigate any connection between the UK and Kenyan authorities in the mistreatment of Michael Adebolajo … I am witness to the fact that the Michael I knew ceased to exist after his treatment in Kenya.”
Others complaining they had not consulted during the course of the investigation have alleged that Michael repeatedly complained about attempts by the security services to ‘turn’ him as an informant. Adebolajo’s brother, who is one of those who spoke to the Guardian about their concerns also claims to have been the subject of overtures by the Secret Intelligence Service while working abroad.
Dismissing these claims, Rifkind said: “It has been public knowledge for the last year that we have been conducting this inquiry. If anyone is complaining that they have not been involved … they had every opportunity to send evidence to the inquiry. If they did not, that has to be their responsibility.
“Our inquiry is about the role of the intelligence services in the months before Lee Rigby’s murder.”