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Rigby killers report to be released

Fusilier Lee Rigby

The extent of the security and intelligence agencies' prior knowledge of soldier Lee Rigby's murderers will be revealed this week as a long-awaited report from a parliamentary watchdog is finally published.

Michael Adebolajo and his younger accomplice Michael Adebowale slaughtered Fusilier Rigby, from Middleton in Manchester, in broad daylight in May last year.

It quickly emerged in the wake of the killing that secret services were aware of both Adebolajo, then 29, and Adebowale, then 22, but questions remain over whether they could have been more closely monitored.

An investigation by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which has been subject to much debate over its bite, has now concluded and a report, described by Whitehall officials as "very substantial", will be released on Tuesday.

It is understood the ISC, chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, examined hundreds of pages of primary source material, as well as written evidence and cross-examination of witnesses.

Muslim converts Adebolajo and Adebowale ran down Fusilier Rigby, who was dressed in a Help for Heroes hoodie, in a Vauxhall Tigra near Woolwich Barracks, in south-east London, before savagely attacking the defenceless soldier as he lay in the road.

As armed police arrived, the two men charged the vehicle, with Adebowale brandishing a rusted, unloaded revolver. They were both shot at the scene.

Adebolajo and Adebowale were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in December last year and were later sentenced to whole life and life with a minimum of 45 years respectively.

Adebolajo was involved in demonstrations linked to the now-proscribed group al-Muhajiroun, and was pictured a few feet from the group's co-founder Anjem Choudary at a protest in 2007.

His extremist beliefs became even more apparent when he was arrested in Kenya in 2010, apparently trying to get to Somalia to join the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

Adebolajo was then brought back to the UK and it is unclear how the authorities decided to deal with him.

A friend, Abu Nusaybah, claimed that MI5 asked him to work for them, and during the trial it emerged that when police asked for Adebolajo's address, he told them that MI5 could give the location because they had visited him earlier in the year.

MI5 Director General Andrew Parker gave a speech in which he appeared to address concerns over whether the intelligence agencies could have done more to prevent the murder.

He said: "Knowing of an individual does not equate to knowing everything about them. Being on our radar does not necessarily mean being under our microscope.

"The reality of intelligence work in practice is that we only focus the most intense intrusive attention on a small number of cases at any one time."

Man jailed for raping boy in Manchester Arndale toilets

John Richard Ferrier Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A 70-year-old man has been jailed after he raped an 11-year-old boy who was at the Arndale Centre in Manchester.

John Richard Ferrier, from Wigan, was found guilty of rape and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of eight years.

Ferrier approached the boy in the toilets. When the boy refused to go into a cubicle with him, he dragged him in and raped him.

Ben Flower guilty of gross misconduct for punching Hohaia

Ben Flower Credit: PA

Wigan Warriors player Ben Flower has been found guilty of gross misconduct for punching Lance Hohaia to the ground in the Grand Final, before landing a second blow to his face while he lay on the ground.

Flower will be fined fifty per cent of his wages for a period of six months and will undergo a rehabilitation programme involving young people.

Chairman Ian Lenagan said:

“We were extremely disappointed and angry at the actions of Ben Flower and stand in agreement with the Rugby Football League and the six month ban from playing which they handed down to Ben last month.

There is no doubt that the reputation of this great club has been damaged by this incident.

This significant fine combined with the requirement for community service has been imposed to affirm Wigan's position that this is not the type of behaviour we want or expect from any of our players."

– Chairman Ian Lenagan


  1. Kerrie Gosney

Friday: Wet and windy weather from the southwest

Radar rainfall image at 10.05 am Friday 21st Nov 2014 Credit: Met Office

After a dry start, and cold start for some sheltered areas first thing - where Nantwich dipped to 0.1°C overnight, the weather goes downhill today.

Cloud builds, rain moves in, and winds gather strength - becoming strong for the coastline and the Isle of Man with mean speeds of 30mph and gusts 40-45mph.

A far milder night ahead with cloud and further outbreaks of rain remaining, heavy at times. Conditions should gradually ease towards dawn.

Hit-and-run driver puts toddler in intensive care

Girl knocked down on Ashfield Road in Longsight Credit: Google

A three-year-old girl was left in intensive care after she was knocked over by a driver who failed to stop in Manchester.

It happened at about 3.50pm on Saturday 15 November 2014 when a silver car, similar looking to a Toyota Avensis, was travelling along Ashfield Road in Longsight.

The girl was playing in the street when she walked out into the road and was hit by the car.

The car stopped briefly, but then drove away, turning left onto Clarence Road.

The driver of the car is described as an Asian man in his 30s.

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