LONDON - Two Islamic extremists were found guilty Thursday of the murder of a young British soldier whom they knocked down with a car and then hacked to death on a London street in full view of horrified bystanders.
A jury took less than two hours to convict Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in the brutal May 22 killing of machine gunner and drummer Lee Rigby as he returned to his barracks in southeast London. The incident was the first fatal Islamic terrorist attack on British soil since the multiple bombings on London's transport network in 2005.
The two men were acquitted of the attempted murder of a police officer who responded to the attack. Prison sentences are to be handed down in the coming weeks.
During the trial, the two described themselves as soldiers of Allah, and said Rigby's slaying was a justifiable act of war in light of British foreign policy. Adebolajo was caught on video by a witness immediately after the attack, holding a bloody cleaver and ranting that the killing was retribution for the deaths of Muslim women and children.
"You people will never be safe!" he shouted at passersby. "Remove your government! They don't care about you."
Both Adebolajo, who was 28 at the time, and Adebowale, who was 22, are British citizens of Nigerian descent.