Two men have been found guilty of murdering British soldier Lee Rigby in a gruesome case that horrified the nation.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were convicted unanimously by a jury at London’s Old Bailey criminal court.
They were cleared of the attempted murder of a police officer.
The court heard the two men ran over Rigby, a 25-year-old Afghan war veteran, near an army barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, then attacked his unconscious body with knives and a meat cleaver, trying to behead him.
They then dragged his corpse into the middle of the road where Adebolajo asked a bystander to video them, with their hands covered blood, as he calmly explained what he had done.
The two British citizens had denied murdering Rigby, with Adebolajo saying the killing was part of a war for Allah in response to Western military action in nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we’ve killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers,” Adebolajo told the camera. “He is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The murder horrified Britain and sparked a surge in reported hate crimes against Muslims, several anti-Islamist street protests by a right-wing group and government promises of tougher action on radical Islamic preachers.
Rigby’s wife Rebecca said: “I would like to thank everyone who has helped us to finally get justice for Lee.
“This has been the toughest time of our lives and no-one should have to go through what we have been through as a family.
“These people have taken away my baby’s Dad but Lee’s memory lives on through our son and we will never forget him.
“I now want to build a future for Jack and make him proud of his Dad like we all are.”
Rigby’s mother Lyn said: “We would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support.
“We are satisfied that justice has been served; but unfortunately no amount of justice will ever bring Lee back. We now ask that we are left along to grieve for our loss.”