29 May 2013

Woolwich suspect was gang member with ‘split personality’

Michael Adebolajo, the older of the two men suspected of murdering a soldier in Woolwich a week ago, has been described by a man who knew him as a member of a notorious gang.

The man, who does not wish to reveal his identity, told Channel 4 News that he had often come across Michael Adebolajo:

“As far as I’ve known him, he’s been in a gang – which are basically the Woolwich guys. Everyone knew exactly who he was. He’s involved in a gang, but I know that he’s Muslim too, which doesn’t really add up.”

‘Split personality’

And he went on to describe profound mood changes in Mr Adebolajo:

“He had like, a split personality – there’s some days you’d see him and he was looking really normal, but then some days he seemed really angry and walked around with a screwed face .. that’s the type of person he is. Sometimes you’d see him and he’s just really normal, maybe even preaching .. other times he has a screwed face and he looks really intimidating.”

‘Typical teenager’

The day after Lee Rigby’s death, a neighbour who knew Mr Adebolajo when he was a teenager living in Essex told Channel 4 News that he was a “typical teenager” at that time.

Kemi Ibrahim-Adeoti, whose son once played with Michael Adebolajo, said “Seriously, I don’t know what went wrong.”

She described his family as “strong Christians”. Since the murder, they have released a statement describing their horror at what happened in Woolwich: “as a family we wish to .. express our profound shame and distress that this has brought on our family.”

Silent tribute

Exactly a week after Lee Rigby was killed, at 2.15pm, people lined the road in Woolwich for a two minute silence.

Returning to the scene, where many floral boquets still lie, was Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the woman who confronted one of the suspects and was later praised for her bravery by the prime minister.

Police officers on Wednesday appealed for any witnesses to the incident to come forward.