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‘London suspects were known to MI5’

The British government on Friday defended the country’s security services against criticism they missed signs which might have helped prevent the brutal murder of a soldier on a street of south-east London.

MI5 now faces a House of Commons inquiry after it was confirmed the two terror suspects arrested over his murder were known to the national security agency.

But Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it was impossible to control everyone all the time.

‘Peers and MPs will do a thorough investigation in terms of what the security forces knew but I’ve seen experts on security explaining how difficult it is in a free society to be able to control everyone,’ Pickles was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Drummer Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old soldier from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was hacked to death by the two Islamist extremists near Woolwich barracks on Wednesday.

Both Londoners of Nigerian descent were caught on camera-phones and have been identified as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo and 22-year-old Michael Adebowale.

Adebolajo, from a Nigerian churchgoing family who converted to Islam after college, had complained of harassment by MI5 in the last three years after he came to the intelligence agency’s attention. He assumed a Muslim name of Mujahid, which means one who engages in jihad, and began attending demonstrations of the now-banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun in the UK. Shortly after the attack, Adebolajo was filmed by a passer-by.
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