Search

Murderer Michael Adebolajo: From regular Romford churchgoer to wannabe Islamic martyr

16:16 19 December 2013

CCTV shown during the trial of Adebolajo and Adebowale (right) as they speak to a member of the public. Picture: Metropolitan Police

CCTV shown during the trial of Adebolajo and Adebowale (right) as they speak to a member of the public. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Romford murderer Michael Adebolajo, who asked to be known in court as Mujaahid Abu Hamza, was a dedicated jihadi already on the radar of the British security services when he killed Lee Rigby.

Adebolajo was known to the British Secret Service before the killingAdebolajo was known to the British Secret Service before the killing

The son of Christian Nigerian immigrants, he was born in Lewisham, south London, and grew up in Eastern Avenue, Romford.

He went to church every Sunday and was taught about the Bible and Jesus every Saturday by a friend of the family named “Ron”.

After attending Parklands Junior School, in Havering Road, Romford, and Marshalls Park Secondary School, in pettits Lane, he went to Havering Sixth Form College in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch.

He claimed that most of his schoolfriends were white.

Kirk Redpath and Adebolajo were best friends at secondary schoolKirk Redpath and Adebolajo were best friends at secondary school

His former friend and fellow Marshalls Park student, Kirk Redpath, joined the Army and was killed by an explosive device in Iraq.

Adebolajo, who said he was “disgusted” by the invasion of Iraq in 2003, converted to Islam in his first year studying building surveying at Greenwich University in south London. He did not complete the course.

Extremist Omar Bakri Mohammed, then leader of the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, has since claimed he personally converted Adebolajo.

Adebolajo began regularly attending demonstrations organised by hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who was also a leading member of Al-Muhajiroun before it was banned in 2005.

Adebolajo went to Marshalls Park SchoolAdebolajo went to Marshalls Park School

At one of the protests outside the Old Bailey in 2006 Adebolajo was arrested after punching a female officer in face and a male officer in the groin.

On November 1 that year he was convicted of two counts of assault at City of London Magistrates Court and jailed for 51 days.

In 2009 he was photographed at an English Defence League march.

The following year he attempted to travel to Somali to become a jihadi with the Al Shabaab terrorist group.

He was captured in Kenya and appeared in court but a few days later was deported to the UK.

After his return Adebolajo was approached by MI5 and his family later claimed they were trying to recruit him to spy on extremist groups. His family also claimed his brother, a teacher in Saudi Arabia, was approached by MI6.

Over the next two years Adebolajo continued his radicalisation, building up a library of extremist material including the Al Qaeda magazine “Inspire” and speeches by Al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone attack in 2011.

Adebolajo had underlined several passages in a document titled “Extreme Islam” referring to martyrdom, including: “Allah does not like any drop, more than the drop of blood shed in His way. Martyrdom means transfusion of blood into society.”

He also highlighted a passage stating: “That is why Islam is always in need of martyrs. The revival of courage and zeal is essential for the revival of a nation’ and a quotation from Mohammed that “Above every virtue, there is another virtue, but there is no virtue higher than being killed in the way of Allah.”

Another book featured a chapter titled: “The virtues of killing a non-believer for the sake of Allah.”

Adebolajo, who is married with six children, believed his reward would be shahada, or martyrdom, and a place in paradise along with 70 members of his family.

Instead it is likely to be a life sentence with a minimum term of 40 years behind bars.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

17:05
Leah who is part of the young people group at Havering Mind

The Recorder has launched a major mental health awareness campaign with charity Havering Mind, which will run throughout 2016. Through Mind Your Mental Health we aim to break down the stigma that persists and share advice for analysing and improving the wellbeing of our community. This week Emma Lake finds out how mentors can help young people

17:00
Havering Mind's Live a better life programme, at, Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch

Vanessa Bennett

It is estimated that in any given year 20 per cent of children will suffer from a mental health problem.

The Recorder is running a competition where readers can win five family tickets to the London Aquarium

Up for grabs this week are five family tickets for one of the capital’s most popular attractions – the London Aquarium.

Copper Box arena school dance championship, Abbs Cross Academy

Dancers have been celebrating walking away from a London-wide championship with two awards.

07:00
Council is set to increase by 3.99 per cent

Residents face a bigger council tax bill after a 3.99 per cent increase was given approval on Wednesday.

Yesterday, 16:13
The team cross the finish line in Antigua. Picture: Ben Duffy

The first hurricane to hit the Atlantic in January since 1938 couldn’t stop four daredevils joining the elite group of people to row across it.

Yesterday, 13:09
The map shows the net increase of new businesses, which have opened in 2015 by areas. These figures take into account the number of businesses, which closed in the same year.

As new companies are launched around the borough, Romford continues to attract most of Havering’s start-up activity.

Yesterday, 10:21
Jon Hill outside Buckinham Palace after receiving his CBE. Photo: Jon Hill

When a loved one dies families can take comfort in having a body to bury and grieve over, but for decades the relatives of Northern Ireland’s “disappeared” have not.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe