The U.K. police arrested three more men on Saturday in connection with the gruesome murder of 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby. They also arrested one suspect's friend minutes after he gave an interview to the BBC, though he's allegedly not connected to the Rigby investigation. It was a mere coincidence, apparently.
U.K. police announced they arrested three men between the ages of 21 and 28 years old Saturday for conspiracy to commit murder. Two of the men had to be subdued with a taser, while the other came quietly. They're all being held at a London police station now. It's unclear right now what role they played or association they have to 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo and 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, the two men arrested Wednesday at the scene for attacking Rigby with their car and subsequently stabbing him.
This weekend, one of Adebolajo's acquaintances, Abu Nusaybah, was arrested under terrorism legislation after giving an interview to the BBC. He alleged MI-5 asked Adebolajo to work for them as a spy. He also accused British soldiers of sexually harassing and threatening Adebolajo while the suspect was visiting Kenya. (Kenya has since denied he ever entered the country.) What's a little odd, though, is that Nusaybah was not arrested in connection with Rigby's murder. British authorities arrested Nusaybah in the BBC lobby only minutes after the interview finished.
Nusaybah did say the two men had been part of the extremist al-Muhajiroun, a group now banned in Britain. But Adebolajo was only a part time, he said. "He attended some of their activities, but he was an independent guy. He would float about," Nusaybah told the BBC. Adebolajo was spotted among the crowd in old footage of one of the group's gatherings earlier this week.
More troubling may be the rise of racist incidents in London in the days since the attack. A helpline set up for religious attacks said they received 162 calls since Wednesday. The weekly average is six. A handful of people have been arrested for posting racist message online, either on Twitter or Facebook. The far-right English Defense League held a rally Saturday (planned months in advance) that saw 1500 people attend. Hopefully the country won't break under the strong racial tensions coursing through the streets.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.