LATEST (09:33) : Woolwich killing suspects previously known to MI5
The two suspects in the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby are reported to have been known to MI5 for as long as eight years.
The second killer was named last night as Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale of Greenwich, south east London. The first suspect, seen justifying the slaying in a shocking broadcasted video, is known to be Michael Adebolajo.
A total of six properties were raided on Thursday, three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Lincolnshire. A man and a woman, both aged 29, were further arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder as the investigation continues to develop.
UPDATE (17:12) Ministry of Defence name soldier killed in Woolwich
The Ministry of Defence has announced Drummer Lee Rigby of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, as the soldier killed in Woolwich on Wednesday. Rigby, born July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester, joined the Army in 2006 and has served in Cyprus, Germany and Afghanistan. The soldier’s details have been released pending a formal identification.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Commanding Officer Second Fusiliers, said: “Drummer Lee Rigby was a dedicated and professional soldier. He was a real character within the Second Fusiliers. Larger than life, he was at the heart of our Corps of Drums. An experienced and talented side drummer and machine gunner, he was a true warrior and served with distinction in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus.
“He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Second Fusiliers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier.”
UPDATE (15:10) Met Police appeal for calm in London, Greenwich property raided
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Simon Byrne has issued an appeal for calm throughout London in the wake of the Woolwich murder.
There has been extra police presence throughout Woolwich and the surrounding areas and that will continue as the major investigation into the case continues.
“It is only right that the on-going investigations are allowed to take place, and they must take as long as is needed without anyone pre-empting what they may conclude,” said Byrne.
“I would ask for Londoners help and support for us to continue. Please remain calm. London is at its best when we all come together and now is the time to do that.”
“We urge anyone who filmed or took photos as events unfolded in John Wilson Street to send them to police via firstname.lastname@example.org”
Officers have raided an address in Greenwich in connection with the murder.
UPDATE (14:00) Woolwich attack suspects known to security services
Senior Whitehall sources have confirmed both of the suspects in the killing of a serving soldier in Woolwich were known to the security services before Wednesday’s attack.
Reports claim one of the suspects is 28-year-old British-born Michael Adebolajo, who is under arrest in hospital along with another man after being shot by armed police. The Lincolnshire address raided by the Metropolitan Police earlier in the day is believed to be connected to Adebolajo.
UPDATE (12:15): Cameron: ‘We will never give in to terrorism’
He said: “What happened yesterday in Woolwich has sickened us all. On our televisions last night and in our newspapers this morning we have all seen images that are deeply shocking.
“The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger.
“This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror or terrorism.
“This view is shared by every community in our country. This was not just an attack on Britain and the British way of life, it was a betrayal of Islam and the Muslim communities. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.”
Cameron added he would not comment about reports the two suspects were known to the security industry while a criminal investigation was on-going.
UPDATE (11:05) Met Police confirm victim was a serving soldier
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed the man who died in Woolwich was a serving soldier. A statement said: “We believe we know his identity but he has yet to be formally identified. His next of kin have been informed. In line with the wishes of his family we will not be releasing his identity at this stage. A post-mortem examination will take place later today.”
UPDATE (10:45) Police raid Lincolnshire house
A house in Lincolnshire has been raided in connection with the Woolwich murder. A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “Lincolnshire Police can confirm that the Metropolitan Police executed a search warrant under PACE at an address in Lincolnshire.
‘This is in connection with the ongoing investigation into the murder of a man in Woolwich. The Metropolitan Police are not prepared to discuss the matter further at this stage.’
Woolwich attacker declares ‘an eye for an eye’
The killing of a soldier in Woolwich by suspected Islamist terrorists has sparked national shock as one of the suspects issued a chilling warning that “you people will never be safe”.
On 2:20pm on Wednesday afternoon, dozens of horrified witnesses saw two men hack to death a British solider in John Wilson Street, Woolwich, south-east London, in an attack described as a terrorist incident by the government.
The shocking incident is the first terrorist murder on British mainland since the 7/7 suicide bombings in 2005. The man, seen wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt, was reportedly run over by the two assailants before being attacked with a variety of knives.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the two were seen calling for onlookers to take videos and pictures. The police arrived around 20 minutes later and the suspected assailants charged armed with machetes and a firearm. Armed police shot the two men and they are currently being treated in separate hospitals.
One of the men spoke chillingly into a witness’s camera phone. The video, which was broadcast on ITV News, shows the man clutching a knife and a meat cleaver and with blood covering his hands.
He said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.
“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologise that women had to witness this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you. Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think your politicians are going to die?
“No, it’s going to be the average guy like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we, so you can all live in peace.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has cut short a trip to Paris to return to the UK and chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee. He described the incident as an “absolutely sickening attack”.
“It is the most appalling crime. We are urgently seeking, and the police are urgently seeking, the full facts about this case. But there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident. Two people at the scene of the murder were wounded by the police, and they are being treated as suspects.”
The police have called for calm on the streets of London as speculation grows regarding the motives of the incident. In addition, Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed security has been increased at Army barracks across London.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “We have launched a murder investigation, being led by the Counter Terrorism Command. Two men have been arrested in connection with that murder.
“We understand concern about the motivation and we will work tirelessly to uncover why this occurred and who was responsible. I understand people want answers, but I must stress we are in the early stages of investigations.
“I would urge everyone to remain calm and have a measured response to today’s tragic events.”
Only hours after the attack, English Defence League (EDL) supporters clashed with police as 75-100 members gathered in Woolwich to sing nationalist songs. Elsewhere, and in an un-linked incident, two men were arrested on separate attacks on mosques.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson proclaimed: “They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off.
“Everyone’s had enough. There has to be a reaction, for the government to listen, for the police to listen, to understand how angry this British public are.”