Accused of hacking up a British soldier in broad daylight on a London street, Michael Adebolajo told police that the victim was the first soldier he saw and "it was almost as if Allah had chosen him."
"We sat in wait and it just so happened that he was the soldier that was spotted first," Adebolajo, 28, said in a police interview that was played at his trial on Thursday.
He said Lee Rigby, was “the most fair target because he joins the army with kind of an understanding that you life is at risk.”
Rigby was attacked at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, on May 22. Two men hit him with a car and then used knives and a meat cleaver to stab and hack him to death. They dragged his body to the middle of the street and told passersby that the death was revenge for the killing of Muslims by British soldiers.
Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, 22, were arrested. Both have pleaded no guilty to murder.
Adebolajo claimed he tried to cut Rigby’s jugular so that he would have a humane death.
"We did not wish to give him much pain," he said.
A search of Adebolajo’s father’s home found a cache of extremist writing, including works by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al-Qaida leader who was killed in a 2011 in a drone strike.
Defense attorneys are expected to begin arguing their case next week.