No contact with Woolwich killer in Kenya – UK

May 28, 2013 6:54 am
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The British embassy says the only UK contact in Kenya was the offer of routine consular assistance following the arrest of Adebolajo (C) in Lamu/AFP
The British embassy says the only UK contact in Kenya was the offer of routine consular assistance following the arrest of Adebolajo (C) in Lamu/AFP
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – The British government says it was not involved in Kenya’s investigations into the alleged terror activities of Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo during his detention here in 2010.

The British High Commission’s spokesman John Bradshaw says the only UK contact in Kenya was the offer of routine consular assistance following Adebolajo arrest in Lamu.

“There is an established procedure for returning foreign nationals to the UK from overseas. Individuals arrested abroad and not facing charges there are usually put on the next available flight back by the authorities of that country,” Bradshaw explained.

At the weekend, Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki was quoted saying Adebolajo had indeed been arrested in late 2010, saying earlier denials had been due to initial confusion as he had been arrested under a different name.

“He was arrested under a different name, a fake name,” Kariuki told Agence France Presse. “We did not process him, as he was handed over to the local MI5.”

On Tuesday, Bradshaw said that British embassies are usually alerted to such arrests in order to provide any necessary consular support. “In some cases we and/or the country in question may also alert UK police to someone coming back to the UK.”

Adebolajo is being held in London over last Wednesday’s brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a street in the British capital.

There has been controversy over Adebolajo’s terror links after it emerged he was well known to UK anti-terror police for at least three years before the Woolwich attack.

“There is an established procedure for returning foreign nationals to the UK from overseas. Individuals arrested abroad and not facing charges there are usually put on the next available flight back by the authorities of that country,” Bradshaw explained.

The Independent on Sunday reported that members of his family said he was ‘pestered’ by MI5 agents pressuring him to become an informant for them and infiltrate radical Islamic extremist groups. Relatives said other family members were also harassed and questioned by the UK authorities.

Adebolajo’s brother-in law told the newspapers that constant demands to get him to spy on Muslim clerics might have pushed him over the edge.

It was also reported that Michael Adebowale, who was arrested alongside Adebolajo after the soldier’s killing, had been detained by British police two months ago.

Kenya arrested Adebolajo and several other youths in 2010 after police claimed the men were travelling to Somalia to join the ranks of the Al Shabaab terrorist group. The Shabaab are an Al-Qaeda linked group fighting in Somalia, but with ties in neighbouring nations including Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastal region.

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