Drummer Lee Rigby, 25 [PHOTO]: Victim in Woolwich attack was loving father of two-year-old
Lee Rigby, 25, has been named as the victim slayed in the horrific attack by two suspects in Woolwich, London on May 22.
Rigby was a loving father to two-year-old son Jack. He was brutally killed just 200 yards away from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.
Rigby's home is in Middleton, Greater Manchester. He had just started his Army career and recently fought in Afghanistan with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
A statement released by the Ministry of Defence said: "Drummer Lee Rigby, or 'Riggers' to his friends, was born in July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester.
"He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre Catterick he was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
"His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the Battalion was serving as the resident Infantry Battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion's public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalion's time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Division's Beating the Retreat – a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums.
"In April 2009 Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab.
"On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group. In 2011 Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London.
"An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan.
"A loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The regiment's thoughts and prayers are with his family during this extremely difficult time."Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.""
Michael Adebolajo has been named as one of the suspects behind the murder Rigby.
The 28-year-old suspect was reportedly brought up as a Christian before becoming "obsessed" with Islam in his teenage years.
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Adebolajo was photographed with bloodied hands and holding a butcher knife yesterday after brutally slaying and chopping up a serving soldier who was in his 20s. He was caught on camera wielding the knife like a crazed man and yelling: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."
Adebolajo reportedly became obsessed with radical Islam at the age of 15 and joined extreme Islamist groups that are banned in UK.
His family, who now live in Lincolnshire, had reportedly moved him away from east London because of their fears that their son was becoming radicalized.
"He started getting involved with Islam aged about 15 or 16, and that is why his parents moved him away out of the area," one of his friends told the Evening Standard. "It is utterly shocking to see what he has done. It's unbelievable."
Born in Lambeth, South London, Adebolajo grew up in Romford, East London.
The British citizen who is of Nigerian descent converted to Islam in 2003 and called himself Mujahid, and joined the Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, which has been banned under the Terrorism Act.
Adebolajo and his unnamed accomplice ran over an off-duty British soldier with their car as he was making his way to the Woolwich Barracks in London. The soldier's body was crushed against a road sign and the suspects started hacking and chopping him with knives. They dragged his body onto the middle of the road and tried to decapitate him, all the meanwhile shouting "Allah Akbar", which means "God is great".
He then ranted on camera with his bloodied hands and butcher knife, and telling passersby that they were waiting for police to come so they can "shoot the police."
Police arrived at the scene 20 minutes later and shot the two suspects. They have been transported to hospital and are currently under armed guard as the investigation continues.
"This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against extremism and terror," said David Cameron after the shocking attack. "We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms. This view is shared by every community." It is not known yet whether the two men have terrorist ties in Nigeria.
Cameron also stated today to declare the unity of the country. "The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know: something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger."