Facebook failed to flag 'emotive' web chat by Rigby killer

Facebook - role in Rigby murder Credit: PA Pictures

A US web firm that could have helped prevent soldier Lee Rigby's murder by flagging a "graphic and emotive" online chat between one of his killers and a foreign Jihadist has been named in reports as Facebook.

In a long-awaited 192-page report, the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) labelled the unnamed internet company a "safe haven for terrorists" for failing to take action against suspected extremists after it emerged that killer Michael Adebowale had vowed to slay a soldier in an exchange sent six months before the attack.

Social network Facebook has been named by a number of media outlets as the firm at the centre of the allegations, which members of the ISC and Prime Minister David Cameron have refused to publicly name.

The group of MPs, chaired by Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said it was "highly unlikely" that the intelligence agencies would have seen the discussion, which came to light only after the barbaric murder near Woolwich barracks on May 22 last year, without the company's help.

The committee also concluded that the three intelligence agencies - MI5, MI6 and GCHQ - could not have prevented the murder of Fusilier Rigby despite a litany of errors and missed opportunities in seven previous operations featuring Adebowale and his older accomplice Michael Adebolajo.

Facebook have declined to comment.