There’s been a number of updates to yesterday’s story of a soldier decapitated in Woolwich yesterday by two muslim men, which the newspaper The I noted was the first time decapitation had been used as an act of terrorism in the west. The principle update is about the man himself, now named as Lee Rigby. The 25 year old father of one had served as a machine gunner in Cyprus and Helmand province, and later as a drummer and worked at the recruitment post in Woolwich. He was well loved by friends, family, and colleagues, and is survived by his 2 year old son and estranged wife. May he rest in peace.
Less is known about the attackers, although one of the has been identified as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, from Romford. It has also emerged that the attackers were known to MI5 and the Police over an 8 year period, but were assesessed as peripheral figures and not investigated. Two others, a man and a woman both aged 29 years old, have also been arrested with conspiracy to murder in the investigation.
The English Defence League, or islamophobic, racist, ‘patriotic’ idiots, decided they had nothing better to do but make the police’s life harder and protested in the only way they could; drunk, loud, and violently. A 43 year old man has been arrested with attempted arson after walking into a mosque in Essex with a knife and an ‘incendiary device’.
Not all of today’s updates are sad however, As with all tragedies, humanity was given a chance to shine and heroic deeds were performed, and not just by the police. Cub scout leader and mother of two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett jumped off her bus to check the pulse of the already dead Lee Rigby, and calmly talked down his assailants as they paced, waiting for police to arrive to confront them. She said: “I started to talk to him and I started to notice more weapons and the guy behind him with more weapons as well. By then, people had started to gather around. So I thought OK, I should keep him talking to me before he noticed everything around him.” This a woman deserving of infinite levels of praise.
The Guardian did a detailed blow by blow live feed of today’s events, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech after the emergency COBRA meeting this morning, denouncing the attack and commending the actions of Ms Loyau-Kennett and the reaction of the muslim community. That can be found here.
Again, please keep my message in mind from yesterday: racism and hate won’t get us anywhere in situations like this.