News / Europe

Report: MI5 Tried to Recruit Woolwich Murder Suspect

In this Friday, May 24, 2013 file photo, military boots are laid in tribute outside the Woolwich Barracks, in London, in response to the bloody attack on Wednesday when a British soldier was killed in the nearby street.In this Friday, May 24, 2013 file photo, military boots are laid in tribute outside the Woolwich Barracks, in London, in response to the bloody attack on Wednesday when a British soldier was killed in the nearby street.
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In this Friday, May 24, 2013 file photo, military boots are laid in tribute outside the Woolwich Barracks, in London, in response to the bloody attack on Wednesday when a British soldier was killed in the nearby street.
In this Friday, May 24, 2013 file photo, military boots are laid in tribute outside the Woolwich Barracks, in London, in response to the bloody attack on Wednesday when a British soldier was killed in the nearby street.
British police have arrested a man on suspicion of terrorism who was reportedly a friend of one of two suspects in Wednesday's brutal murder of a British soldier on a London street.

The friend, identified as Abu Nusaybah, was arrested Friday night, immediately after giving a television interview to the BBC about suspect Michael Adebolajo.

In the interview, Nusaybah claimed Adebolajo, 28 had been approached by Britain's security service months ago to work as an informant -- an offer he refused.

Nusaybah told the BBC that MI5 agents sought out Adebolajo after he returned to Britain from Kenya. He said Adebolajo had been changed by his trip to Kenya, where he claimed to have been detained and abused by local security forces.

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed that counter-terrorism officers arrested a 31-year-old man Friday on "suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism." Officials say the arrest was made at the BBC building, but have not confirmed the man's identity. They say the arrest was not directly linked to Wednesday's killing.

Adebolajo and his fellow suspect in the attack, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, remain under guard in a hospital after police shot and arrested them following the murder. The victim, 25-year-old Lee Rigby, died at the scene.

Rigby, who had served in Afghanistan, was off-duty Wednesday afternoon at the time of the attack. He was rammed by a car and then hacked to death near an army barracks. Government officials said one of the attackers shouted "Allahu akbar," meaning "God is great" -- as the soldier lay dying near him.

The government has said there are "strong indications" the attack was a terrorist incident.

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.

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