A major report released on Tuesday on the May 2013 murder of British fusilier Lee Rigby in London has concluded that even though his two assailants were known to intelligence agencies, there were not in a position to prevent his murder.
Rigby’s murder — the most recent terrorist act in Britain — led to one of the most exhaustive inquiries by the Intelligence and Security of Parliament. The report was published as Scotland Yard launched a major counter-terrorism operation in London this week.
Rigby was murdered by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The committee said: “The two men appeared, between them, in seven different Agency investigations — for the most part as low-level Subjects of Interest. There were errors in these operations, where processes were not followed, decisions not recorded, or delays encountered”.
It added: “…We have concluded that, given what the Agencies knew at the time, they were not in a position to prevent the murder of Fusilier Rigby”.
The committee, however, expressed serious concern that US-based ISPs appeared ‘to accept no responsibility’ for unintentionally providing a ‘safe haven’ for terrorists, after a crucial online exchange in December 2012 showed that Adebowale had wanted to murder a British soldier ‘in the most emotive and graphic manner’.
Had the exchange come to the notice of intelligence agencies, Adebowale would have been closely monitored, it said.