The man accused of murdering and virtually decapitating a British soldier in London claimed during police interrogation that Tony Blair’s leadership of a Western intervention in Afghanistan had inspired his actions, a court heard today.
Michael Adebolajo, who has asked the court to call him Mujaahid Abu Hamza, told officers soon after the killing of Lee Rigby that he was disgusted by foreign military action, which was launched by the U.S. and Britain. He said there was a "war between the Muslims and the British people."
Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, both of whom grew up in Britain, are on trial for the killing of an off-duty British serviceman. Rigby was hit by a car and hacked to death with knives and a meat cleaver in May; the attack took place in broad daylight outside a school.
Both men, who deny murder, were shot and apprehended at the scene. A trial at the Old Bailey in central London was played a video of Adebolajo being interviewed by police officers soon afterwards. Asked about the killing, he ranted about the invasion of Afghanistan and the politicians who ordered and sustained military intervention. “They use the magic tongue to dodge very important questions, and one man, perhaps he continues to be the man most skilled at doing so, he goes by the name of Tony Blair,” he said.
“Unfortunately not everybody realizes the wickedness and corruption of this man. You find the likes of David Cameron trying his very best at every possibility, to try to emulate the footsteps of Tony Blair, as if he worships him… [I am] particularly disgusted by David Cameron, the Miliband brothers and what's-his-name, Nick Clegg.”
During parts of the interview, which was conducted at Southwark police station, Adebolajo covered his face with a blue blanket. Asked what happened to Rigby, he said: "He was struck in the neck with a sharp implement and it was sawed until his head, you know, almost detached and may Allah forgive me if I acted in a way that is displeasing to him."
“It brings me little joy to approach anyone and slay them,” he said. “I am not a man who gets enjoyment in horror movies, seeing blood and gore across the camera lens.”
He said he was only answering questions to help explain the events to the family of Lee Rigby and the British people. “The reason for me conducting this interview with you individuals today is only so that, between us, we prevent such serious incidents occur on the streets of either Britain or any of the Muslim lands,” he said.
He compared American and British forces in Afghanistan to an invasion of Britain by a European power. “I don't believe the British people would accept French troops marching on the streets of London telling men where they may and may not walk', he said. “Dragging away the man, raping the women, gathering the bodies and tying them together, dousing them in petrol, and setting them on fire.
“I don't believe the British people for one moment would accept this. I grew up here, I know the British people—I’m a British person.”
The interrogator asked Adebolajo to confirm that he told a police officer in the hospital when he was being treated, “I am not denying the murder.”
The defendant replied: “It is very unlikely I used these words.”
Tim McInerney, a forensic psychiatrist who met Adebolajo, said the suspect had repeated claims that his actions has been "on the basis of his religious beliefs and because British soldiers were killing people in the Middle East".
"He showed no signs of regret or remorse," he said.
The trial continues.