Brother of Lee Rigby's killer blames murder on UK foreign policy

Jeremiah Adebolajo's identity was protected during the interview. Credit: Daybreak

The brother of soldier murderer Michael Adebolajo has refused to condemn the killing and suggested that the events happened as a result of British foreign policy.

Speaking to Daybreak's John Stapleton, Jeremiah Adebolajo said it was "not as simple" as to class his brother's crimes as acts of terror.

"We have to ask the question of, for example, what are the possible implications, security-wise, for British citizens, when a government ignores the view of the millions who marched against the war and decides to embark on an illegal war," he said.

"It wasn't his motivation for his involvement in Islam in any way, but certainly it was his motivation for the actions of the events of Woolwich."

"This need not have happened," Stapleton put to Adebolajo. "Your brother and his accomplice weren't even sure that this guy was a soldier when they hacked him to death. There was absolutely not need for this at all."

"Do you believe, then, there was a need for Britain to be embroiled in a war for over a decade?" Adebolajo replied.

"My point to you is that there was also no need for tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan to die."

He went on: "To suggest, as you seem to be doing, that the attack in Woolwich wasn't related to foreign policy is disingenuous."

Lee Rigby was 25 when he was murdered. Credit: MoD

"I'm not suggesting that we should make light of the death any individual, and we shouldn't make light of the suffering that [Lee Rigby's] parents undoubtedly feel.

"Ultimately we have to think from a human point of view. Two parents have lost their child and tens of thousands of young and old in Iraq and Afghanistan have lost their lives.

"I think there should be some moral soul-searching as to how we allow that to happen."

Michael Adebolajo was filmed leading protests by the now-banned group Muslims Against Crusades.

Jeremiah, who is younger than Michael and works as an English teacher at a university in the Middle East, dismissed as unfair suggestions that he had grown up in a dysfunctional family.

"It's just sensationalism. It's people trying to understand how a British citizen can go on to do what he did in Woolwich.

"But certainly we're not dysfunctional. My parents were always very loving towards us. All of us are very close."

Of his childhood, he recalls: "We had what you could call an average, a normal upbringing for east London kids. My earliest memories are probably playing football with him."