Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, linked to many radicals
Extremists Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudary are senior figures
Ten men have apparent connections via various groups and mosques
PUBLISHED: 12:18, 27 May 2013
A powerful web of Islamic radicals and terror convicts sits behind the two men believed to have executed Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, it emerged today.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are both apparently linked to a wider network of men who are known to have either planned atrocities, preached violence or joined groups considered so extreme they are now banned.
These apparent connections have come to light since the British Muslims were arrested on suspicion of hacking Drummer Rigby to death in broad daylight after he was run down with a car last Wednesday.
Web: These men are all linked in various ways to Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, the radicals accused of murdering soldier Lee Rigby
Both men are said to know Usman Ali, an alleged extremist and former member of the banned group Al-Muhajiroun, who also ran the Friday prayer group in Woolwich, where Adebolajo and Adebowale went.
He was also held for six days by Scotland Yard over alleged links to a conspiracy to blow up the Canadian Parliament.
Even extradited hate preacher Abu Hamza is connected to the pair via his own associates, who he is said have radicalised at the Fisbury Park Mosque in the 1990s.
Others in the circle include white convert Richard Dart, who last month was jailed for 11 years for plotting to attack British soldiers at Wootton Bassett. Dart was stopped as he tried to leave for Pakistan for terrorist training.
Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killing. It was claimed last night that MI5 offered Adebolajo a job six months ago
Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, south-east London, with a knife in his hand at the scene where Lee Rigby was stabbed to death
The contact Adebolajo, 28, and Adebowale, 22, had with these men and other may have inspired them to attempt to plot a terror attack.
At the top of the very top of this network is extremist cleric Omar Bakri, who is banned from Britain because of his activities, including his alleged links to Al Qaeda.
He met Michael Adebolajo on numerous occasions throughout 2004 and founded the now banned Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, with which Adebolajo is believed to have been associated.
Now living in Lebanon, his leave to remain in Britain was revoked after the 7/7 London attacks, which he said the British people brought on themselves.
His deputy Anjem Choudary knew both the terror suspects, who remain in hospital after being gunned down by police.
Choudary – who helped form the now-banned Islamist groups Al-Muhajiroun and Al Ghurabaa – is accused of helping to radicalise several terrorists.
The 46-year-old described Adebolajo as a man of ‘impeccable character’ in interviews with BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News last week.
Powerful: Hate preachers Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri had links to the two suspects personally or via associates
Islamist group: Ibrahaim Hassan, far right, pictured with Anjem Choudary and convert Richard Dart
Abu Izzadeen, who is also known as Trevor Brooks, was also an associate of Bakri and Choudary.
He was found guilty in 2008 of urging worshipers at a London mosque to join the mujahideen to fight British and American troops in Iran.
Abu Nusaybah, 31, whose real name is Ibrahim Hassan, was convicted along with Izzadeen five years ago, and was handed two years, nine months in jail.
Fallen hero: Father Lee Rigby, 25, from Manchester, was described as ‘cheeky and humorous’ in tributes. He was executed by two suspected Islamic terrorists in Woolwich on Wednesday afternoon
He is also a close friend of Woolwich suspect Adebolajo and last week sensationally claimed that MI5 had tried to recruit his ally.
He was also a former prominent member of Al-Muhajiroun, the group banned in 2005 after radicalising a wave of British Muslims.
Adebolajo and Adebowale’s links to Greenwich University’s Islamic society are currently being probed by the Home Office, a group which heard from Dr Khalid Fikry, who has supported convicted terrorists.