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May 26, 2013

Kenya Arrested British Soldier Murder Suspect in 2010

by VOA News

Kenyan officials say a suspect in last week's savage murder of a British soldier in London was arrested in 2010 near the East African country's border with Somalia.

Michael Adebolajo and five others were detained and questioned by Kenyan authorities in the port city of Mombasa over links to the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Adebolajo was believed to have been preparing to train and fight with al-Shabab, but was released after two days due to lack of evidence.

Kenya's government spokesman said he was arrested under the fake name he was using at the time - Michael Olemendis Ndemolajo - and handed to British authorities.

The spokesman rejected allegations that Adebolajo was tortured while in custody.

British soldier Lee Rigby, who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, was killed in broad daylight last week near the Royal Artillery Barracks in southeast London. Video footage shows Adebolajo wielding a bloodied knife and meat cleaver, shouting threats and "God is Great" in Arabic.

On Saturday, British police arrested three men in their 20's in connection with the murder, two of them at a residential address in southeast London and one on a London street. All three were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

Also Saturday, thousands in northern British city of Newcastle protested Rigby's murder and demanded more government efforts to monitor radicals and extremists in the country.

The two suspects in the stabbing - Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale - remain under guard in a hospital after being shot by police during their apprehension.

Both suspects are believed to have converted to Islam after being brought up Christian by their African immigrant families. The two men told bystanders they were acting in retaliation against British forces killing Muslims. Neither one has been charged.

Another young man was arrested Friday on "suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism." News reports identify him as Abu Nusaybah, a friend of Michael Adebolajo.

In an interview with the BBC hours before his arrest, Nusaybah said Adebolajo had been approached by Britain's security service months ago to work as an informant, which he refused. Nusaybah said Adebolajo had changed after a visit to Kenya.