Remember when two radicalized extremists killed a British soldier in broad daylight on a London street earlier this year? They were found guilty if murder today. It took the jury a whopping 90 minutes to seal the men’s fates.
The men convicted of killing Fusilier Lee Rigby are named Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The two men were both born in the UK but were radicalized sometime in the past several years by Islamic extremists.
On June 22, they decided they were going to kill a British soldier. They reasoned that British soldiers were killing Muslims daily in the Afghan and Iraq wars, so it was only just to distribute some payback. At about 2:00pm, Adebolajo spotted Rigby crossing the street. He sped up and purposefully ran him over.
After hitting Rigby, Adebowale approached the man and started hacking at him with a machete. A witness described the attack as “like a butcher attacking a joint of meat.”
The men waited for police to arrive after killing Rigby. Once they did, the men charged at officers with the machete and an unloaded gun. Adebowale told police they were hoping to provoke a shooting from the officers so they “would achieve martyrdom.”
Adebolajo was recorded on the street by a witness and repeatedly said “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” on film. He said he attacked the soldier “because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.”
The men reportedly seemed unremorseful after being handed their sentences. Rigby’s family released a statement on the men’s sentencings.
“We are satisfied that justice has been done,” the statement said. “But unfortunately no amount of justice will bring Lee back.”
When the murder first took place in June, the Muslim Council of Britain wasted no time in condemning the actions as a “barbarous act.” Secretary General of the council Farooq Murad reiterated those sentiments today.
“Muslim communities then, as now, were united in their condemnation of this crime,” he said.