Woolwich Murder: Two Suspects Held In Custody

The two men accused of murdering Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich have both appeared in separate courts in London.

Drummer Rigby was hacked to death near Woolwich Barracks in southeast London as he walked back to base on May 22 after a day working at the Tower of London.

At his first court appearance, Michael Adebolajo, 28, was remanded in custody until a bail hearing at the Old Bailey in 48 hours.

With his left arm fully bandaged, Adebolajo told Westminster Magistrates' Court he wanted to be known as Mujaheed Abu Hamza.

He held a Koran and blew kisses to a man, believed to be his brother, in the public gallery, and they both pointed to the sky.

Later in the hearing, he held the Koran with his right hand and kissed it while holding his left arm in the air.

Adebolajo, of Romford, Essex, is also accused of the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used.

He was charged with the four counts on Saturday, having been discharged from hospital on Friday.

Adebolajo was shot by police on May 22 and spent just over a week in hospital being treated for his injuries.

As he was asked to stand in court, Adebolajo said: "May I ask why? May I ask why?"

When told it is customary to stand, he said: "I want to sit."

After standing when asked to at the end of the short hearing, he asked Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot: "I would like to alleviate the pain if I may?"

Adebolajo's co-accused Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, southeast London, later appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Belmarsh Prison.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told the court the defendant would reappear for a preliminary hearing on June 28, when his case is expected to be joined up with that of Adebolajo.

As well as being charged with the murder of Drummer Rigby, Adebowale faces a charge of possession of a firearm with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used.

Adebowale appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court last week.

Following the court appearances David Cameron made a Commons statement about Drummer Rigby's killing.

He called the murder a "despicable attack" and a "betrayal of Islam" but said Britain will not be "cowed by terror".

"There's nothing in Islam which justifies acts of terror and I welcome the spontaneous condemnation of this attack from mosques and Muslim community organisations right across our country," he said.

The Prime Minister addressed MPs after chairing the first meeting of a new anti-terrorism task force he ordered to be set up as a result of the Woolwich attack.

He said the Intelligence and Security Committee would investigate how the Woolwich suspects were radicalised, what was known about them, whether more could have been done to stop them and further lessons to be learned.

The Cabinet-level group, which will also bring in intelligence and police chiefs when needed, will focus on radical preachers who target potential recruits in jails, schools, colleges and mosques.

It will monitor trends in radicalisation and tackle "poisonous narratives", No 10 said.

Other members include Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne, other key Cabinet ministers, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Andrew Parker, the director general of the Security Service.

An inquest into Drummer Rigby's death found he suffered "extensive and serious" injuries and had to be identified by a dental expert.

The short hearing at Southwark Coroner's Court on Friday was told he was hit by a car before being attacked by two men armed with a cleaver and a knife.

People across the country subsequently paid their respects to Drummer Rigby, with floral tributes marking the scene of his death.

But this weekend also saw clashes between rival protesters outside the Houses of Parliament, despite pleas from police and the soldier's family not to use the death for political gain.

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