Target of London machete attack identified as 25-year-old father with a 2-year-old son
The British soldier targeted by yesterday’s horrific Islamist terrorist attack on the streets of London has been identified as 25-year-old Lee Rigby, a drummer with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. From the Washington Times:
Mr. Rigby, 25, joined the British army in 2006 and was stationed in London on a recruiting stint, the British military said in a release.
He is being remembered by friends and family for being a “loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years,” the military statement added.
Mr. Rigby previously served in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.
He was described as an “an extremely popular and witty soldier,” the military said.
“Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan,” the military said.
The UK Daily Mail has more details of his military service:
‘His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the Battalion was serving as the resident Infantry Battalion in Dhekelia.
‘Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, west London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion’s public duties commitment.
‘He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalion’s time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Division’s Beating the Retreat – a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums.
‘In April 2009 Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab.
‘On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group.
He was working as a military recruiter, and had served as a ceremonial palace guard in the past. It turned out he was safer in Afghanistan than he was in London.
Flowers and notes have been laid at the site of Rigby’s murder by “military wives, police, and members of the public.”
One note left said simply: ‘So sorry. Our thoughts are with your family, friends and comrades.’
Another read: ‘A true hero. May you rest in peace forever! Such a sad day and it disgusts me to think my son will have to grow up in a world like this full of violence. I never knew you but you’ll forever be in my heart and thoughts.’
A third person wrote: ‘We never knew you, but fly high with the angels.’
Another said: ‘To a hero taken from us too soon, may you rest in peace. Always in our hearts, Martin, Faye and Hope, fellow soldier family.’
A serving soldier lay flowers outside the barracks today wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt, just like the victim.
‘We feel a lot of anger. All I know is that he was a young guy. A soldier just starting out. It’s heartbreaking. The soldiers inside that barracks will really be feeling this,’ he said.
‘I grew up in this area and that’s why I wanted to come down here today and pay my respects. I’ve come wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt to show that nobody can break us. I wanted to show solidarity for another soldier.
Another note was left with flowers by someone who was “sorry that I couldn’t stop them vile animals.”
Donations have been pouring into the Help for Heroes charity for UK military veterans in Rigby’s name, evidently forcing the website administrators to make some hasty adjustments to handle all the traffic.
We may have identified the target of the attack, but the U.S. media is still having a very difficult time identifying the attackers. Newsbusters has a sadly predictable roundup of American networks bending over backwards to avoid using words like “terrorist” or “Islam,” or directly quoting anything the terrorists said during the attack:
What does a murderous jihadist terrorist have to do to get some recognition for his cause? You hack a British soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street while shouting “Allahu akbar” and then “swear by the almighty Allah” that you’ll never stop fighting, and the U.S. broadcast networks still can’t bring themselves to utter a word about Islam.
True, the ABC CBS and NBC evening broadcasts called the attack “terrorism,” but for all the information they gave viewers, the attackers might have been Basque separatists or animal rights zealots.
On “Nightly News” NBC anchor Brian Williams said the attackers allowed “people to take video while they vent their message about religion and politics.” Correspondent Michelle Kosinski said one of the attackers “made a long political statement, weapons still in his blood-covered hands.”
CBS “Evening News with Scott Pelley” went a bit further, as reporter Charlie D’Agata mentioned that “Witnesses said that the men shouted ‘god is great’ in Arabic during the attacks.” Hmmm. Presbyterians maybe?
Over at ABC, on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” reporter Lama Hasan would only say British authorities were trying to find out including “whether or not one of [the attackers] is of African origin with ties to terrorist groups.” Of the one attacker’s video rant, Dian Sawyer said, “officials in the United States and the United Kingdom are studying the meaning of this tape.” Yes, it’s a real head-scratcher.
As Newsbusters notes, British media haven’t been soft-pedaling the nature of the attack this way. The BBC thinks it has identified one of the attackers as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, who has apparently been on the anti-terror radar screen for a while:
Sources said reports the men had featured in “several investigations” in recent years – but were not deemed to be planning an attack – “were not inaccurate”.
According to BBC sources, Mr Adebolajo, a Briton of Nigerian descent, comes from a devout Christian family but took up Islam after leaving college in 2001.
The BBC has uncovered its own footage of one of the alleged Woolwich attackers, taking part in an Islamist demonstration in April 2007 against the arrest of a man from Luton.
Mr Adebolajo can be seen standing in a crowd of men outside Paddington Green police station, holding a placard reading “Crusade Against Muslims”.
He is standing next to Anjem Choudary, who was the leader of al-Muhajiroun, a now-banned organisation.
Mr Choudary said Mr Adebojalo was previously associated with the group, but went his own way in around 2010.
Ah, so he’s another member of that notorious host of “lone wolves” who perpetually orbit radical Islam for unfathomable reasons, carrying out various completely unconnected acts of mayhem. It looks like this particular lone wolf ran with a sizable pack, because according to Fox News, more arrests have been made in the case:
British police have made two further arrests and searched multiple properties as they widened their investigation into Wednesday’s fatal hacking to death of a British soldier in broad daylight on a busy London street by two Muslim terrorists.
The two arrests, of a man and a woman — both 29 — on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, raises the possibility that the gruesome attack was not a so-called “lone wolf” killing as once thought. Earlier it had been reported that the attackers were known to both UK authorities and a radical jihadist group well before the shocking attack that has stunned the United Kingdom and risked inflaming tensions between communities.
Fox News also relates the amazing story of Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, “a cub scout leader and mother of two,” who jumped off a bus and was apparently able to talk the terrorists out of attacking bystanders:
She said “a black guy with a black hat and a revolver in one hand and a cleaver in the other came over” and excitedly warned her to stay away from the body.
“I asked him why he had done what he had done,” The Guardian quoted her as saying. “He said he had killed the man because he [the victim] was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British Army being over there.”
She told The Daily Telegraph that the suspected terrorist was “in full control of his decisions” and did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When the man told him he was going to kill police when they arrived, she asked him if that was reasonable and tried to keep him engaged.
Then she spoke to the other attacker, who she described as quiet and shy.
“I asked him if he wanted to give me what he was holding in his hand, which was a knife, but I didn’t want to say that,” she said. “He didn’t agree and I asked him: `Do you want to carry on?’ He said: `No, no, no.’ I didn’t want to upset him,” she is quoted as saying in The Guardian.
How many terrible places have American and British troops stormed together over the past century, shoulder to shoulder against inhuman evil? Rest easy, Mr. Rigby, and may those who would consider such savagery never sleep another wink.