Read Time:5 Minute, 33 Second

  • Appeared in court on suspicion of planning  to fight for terrorist group
  • Adebojalo was heading for Somalia, to be  recruited by Al-Shabaab
  • It is claimed that soon after he was  targeted by MI5 as a possible informant
  • He resisted attempts to ‘turn’ him and  complained to lawyers he was being harassed

By  Barbara Jones, Ian Gallagher And Abul Taher

PUBLISHED: 16:15 EST, 25 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 11:05  EST, 26 May 2013

Woolwich suspect Michael  Adebolajo came  to the attention of MI5 after he appeared in court in Kenya on suspicion of  planning to fight for a terrorist group.

The Mail on Sunday has learned he was  arrested with five others in November 2010. All were said to have been heading  for neighbouring Somalia, where they had been recruited by Al-Shabaab, the  Islamist insurgent organisation.

Adebolajo, who was filmed after the Woolwich  slaughter with blood on his hands, was deported without being charged.

Exclusive: Michael Adebolajo in a Kenyan court in 2010 with five other men after he attempted to cross the borderExclusive: Michael Adebolajo in a Kenyan court in 2010  with five other men after he attempted to cross the border

It was soon after his return to Britain, a  close friend claims, that MI5 earmarked him as a potential  informant and  began assiduously courting him.

The Mail on Sunday has been told:

  •   Intelligence officers offered Adebolajo  money and gave him a mobile phone;
  •   Adebolajo was asked to spy on a group of  Muslims with links to Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen;
  •   He resisted their attempts to ‘turn’  him and complained to lawyers he was being harassed.

An East London-based solicitor, who asked not  to be named, said: ‘He came to see us last year. He raised serious concerns  which are similar to ones we have heard before from others. He met a member of  my team and discussed his case.

‘He complained that they [MI5] kept wanting  to talk to him and his family. They kept coming round his family home and wanted  to meet him regularly. We said if he wanted to deal with it properly, he should  give us the number they [MI5] had given him and we would call  them.

‘He was very paranoid about the whole thing.  But he didn’t come back so we didn’t do anything else with him.’

Raid: police moving in on Rikki Thomas's Greenwich house last weekRaid: police moving in on Rikki Thomas’s Greenwich house  last week

It is understood that soon afterwards the  contact with intelligence officers suddenly ceased.

Adebolajo’s links to the security services  were first revealed on Friday on Twitter by one of his closest friends, Abu  Nusaybah. Hours later, Nusaybah was arrested under the Terrorism Act just as he  was finishing a pre-recorded interview for BBC Newsnight.

Earlier that day, Nusaybah, whose real name  is Ibrahim Hassan, gave an interview to a Mail on Sunday reporter in which he  made further claims about MI5 and Adebolajo.

‘They wanted him to spy on a group of Muslims  who have links to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP]. They wanted  information about them.’

AQAP, based in Yemen, has been called ‘the  most active operational franchise’ of Al Qaeda beyond Pakistan and  Afghanistan.

‘They offered him [Adebolajo] money and they  gave him a special mobile phone to use when calling them,’ said Hassan. ‘They  even took him in for interviews, just to intimidate him to work for them. But he  refused.’

By the time Adebolajo arrived in Kenya in  2010, he was already deeply immersed in radical Islam and espousing extremist  views.

Along with five Kenyan youths, he was picked  up by local police on November 23 after spending the night in a guesthouse on  Faza Island, part of the Lamu archipelago in the Indian Ocean close to the  Somali border.

Principal magistrate Richard Kirui was told  that all six men had been recruited to Al-Shabaab and intended to fight with  them to bring down the country’s transitional government.

Al-Shabaab has imposed a strict version of  Sharia law in the areas it controls, including stoning to death women accused of  adultery.

Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killingRant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killing

Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the  killing.  It was claimed last night that MI5 offered Adebolajo a job six  months  ago

Suspect: The friend of Michael Adebolajo, right, said he thought he had undergone a 'change' following his detention by security forces on a trip to Kenya last year.Suspect: The friend of Michael Adebolajo said he thought  he had undergone a ‘change’ following his detention by security forces on a trip  to Kenya last year. Adebolajo, right, is pictured at an English Defence League  march in 2009

Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, South East London, was named last night as one of the suspects shot by police after the brutal murder of Lee RigbySuspect: Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, south-east  London, with a knife in his hand at the scene where Lee Rigby was stabbed to  death

In court, the youths claimed they had been  given nothing to eat for two days and had been denied access to  lawyers.

They had spent a night in police custody in  Mombasa and were questioned by counter terrorism officers before being taken to  court the next day. Adebolajo was fingerprinted and photographed and made a full  statement.

After the order was made to deport Adebolajo,  police officers accompanied him, handcuffed, in an unmarked police vehicle to  Nairobi airport.

During the day-long drive, the vehicle was  involved in a minor accident, and although no-one was injured the journey was  delayed.That evening Adebolajo was put on the first available flight to  London.

Fallen hero: Father Lee Rigby, 25, from Manchester, was described as 'cheeky and humorous' in tributes. He was executed by two suspected Islamic terrorists in Woolwich on Wednesday afternoonFallen hero: father Lee Rigby was killed in the attack  on Woolwich last week
Lee RigbyLee Rigby

A great character: Father of one and soldier Rigby, of  Greater Manchester, pictured relaxing on Army leave

At this time he was living on a council  estate in Greenwich, South East London, with girlfriend Rikki Thomas and her two  children from a previous relationship.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that Thomas –  arrested last week in a police raid on her Greenwich house and later released  without charge – gave birth to the terror suspect’s son last year.

Neighbours yesterday recalled how 29-year-old  Thomas wore mini-skirts and was a ‘bright lovely woman’ before meeting him six  years ago and turning into someone who hardly left the house.

Odette Hamilton said: ‘Rikki began to dress  more and more like a Muslim. Eventually she wore the whole  burka.

‘When they walked down the street, he used to  make her follow behind him, in subordination.’

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