British police have arrested four people in relation to the brutal killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in southeast London on Wednesday.
On a cellphone video recorded by a passer-by after the assault, one of the suspects, hands bloody with a meat cleaver, says he killed the soldier to protest the killing of Muslims by British soldiers overseas, presumably in Afghanistan. The suspect declared that he was fighting for "Almighty Allah".
"This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." he said in the video.
The British media identified him as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, a British national of Nigerian descent.
According to British media reports, Adebolajo was born in Lambeth, London, and grew up in Romford, in the nearby county of Essex. Adebolajo is converted to Islam in his late teens before becoming increasingly radical.
Acquaintances recalled that Adebolajo’s mother had strong Christian beliefs, but he himself was not particularly interested in religion.
"She raised him as a Christian with good manners and respect," a family friend told The Sun.
Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary, one of the leaders of the radical al-Muhajiroun group, said he was well-acquainted with Adebolajo, who regularly attended sermons by banned radical cleric Omar Bakri in London.
Religious leaders sought on Friday to avert with public appeals and condemnation of the attack. Standing with Christian and Muslim leaders, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, declared, "This is very much a time for communities to come together."
Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, called the soldier’s killing a "betrayal of Islam" and "a truly barbarous act" with no basis in the Muslim faith.
Around a dozen sat in silence in St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, in Rectory Place, offering their prayers for Drummer Lee Rigby who was killed in the brutal terrorist attack in Woolwich.