One of the alleged killers of Middleton soldier Lee Rigby has told a court he loves al Qaida and considers the terror group to be "his brothers".
Michael Adebolajo, 28, began giving evidence at the Old Bailey today, surrounded by five security guards in oak-pannelled Court Two.
He and Michael Adebowale, 22, are accused of murdering Fusilier Rigby by running him down with a car and then hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives near Woolwich Barracks in south east London on May 22.
The soldier's relatives sat feet away as Adebolajo spoke to the court.
Al Qaida, I consider to be Mujahideen. I love them, they're my brothers. I have never met them.
"I consider them my brothers in Islam.
"Mujahideen are the army of Allah."
Adebolajo told the court that he took the name Mujahid, meaning fighter, in 2002 or 2003.
Growing up I never did think of killing a man.
"This is not the type of thing that the average child thinks of and I was no different.
"When a soldier joins the Army he perhaps has in his head an understanding that he will kill a man at some stage.
"When I became a mujahid I was aware that perhaps I might end up killing a soldier."
More top news
Feeling colder. Winds much stronger. Showery outbreaks developing. Showers could be heavy, contain hail & thunder & fall wintry over hills
For 94 years Tranmere Rovers have been in the Football League, but that all ended on Saturday as they were relegated to the Conference.
Ice Hockey outfit Manchester Phoenix have announced plans for a brand-new 3,000-seater arena, with Olympic-sized ice pad, in the city.