Two Muslim converts have been found guilty of brutally murdering British soldier Lee Rigby on May 22, 2013.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been found guilty of murdering Lee Rigby, 25, as he walked down the street near a military barracks in south London.
The brutal murder that nearly beheaded Rigby was caught on video and included a terrorist rant by the killers, who stayed at the scene until police arrived.
When authorities attempted to arrest them they charged the officers and were shot, but not seriously injured. Lee Rigby’s killers said they wanted to become martyrs.
The jury took only 90-minutes to return the guilty verdict in the case, which also determined that both men were not guilty in the attempted murder of a police officer.
Lee Rigby’s family wept openly when the verdict was read. His stepfather, Ian, was seen wiping tears from his eyes as he put his arm around the soldier’s mom, Lyn, who was sobbing.
The Judge in the case said he will decide on a sentence after a key appeal court ruling on the use of whole life terms in January.
Adebolajo and Adebowale claimed they were “soldiers of Allah,” and the murder was a reprisal against Western foreign policy, which they claim causes the death of Muslims.
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) December 19, 2013
At the time of his murder, Rigby was on his way back to his barracks from a shift working at the Tower of London. He had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Lee Rigby’s wife, Rebecca, said:
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us to finally get justice for Lee. This has been the toughest time of our lives and no one should have to go through what we have been through as a family. These people have taken away my baby’s dad, but Lee’s memory lives on through our son and we will never forget him. I now want to build a future for Jack and make him proud of his dad like we all are.”
Rigby’s mother thanked supporters saying:
“We would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support. We are satisfied that justice has been served; but unfortunately no amount of justice will ever bring Lee back. We now ask that we are left alone to grieve for our loss.”
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick stated prosecutors are pleased with the verdict in the Lee Rigby murder:
“We are pleased that justice has been done. At this very difficult time, our thoughts are with Lee’s family and all those who knew and loved him. This horrific attack, which took place in broad daylight on the streets of London, shocked the country and was intended to divide communities. It had largely the opposite effect and has, in fact, brought people together. The court heard of extraordinary acts of courage and compassion from members of the public at the time of this terrifying and dreadful incident.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that the nation has been united because of Lee Rigby’s murder and welcomes the guilty verdict.