MI5 tried to recruit friend of Woolwich murder suspect
Published 25/05/2013 | 12:01
A CHILDHOOD friend of Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo has claimed that he was approached by MI5 six months ago and asked if he would work for the security service.
Abu Nusaybah told the BBC's Newsnight programme that his friend, who was arrested after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby on Wednesday, had rejected the request.
During the interview Nusaybah said he thought Adebolajo had undergone a "change" following his detention by security forces on a trip to Kenya last year.
He said Adebolajo suggested he had been physically and sexually abused while he was interrogated in the African country, and after this he became withdrawn and "less talkative - he wasn't his usual bubbly self".
Nusaybah said Adebolajo told him that when he returned to the UK he was "followed by MI5" who were "knocking on his door" - a claim which is unverified by Whitehall.
Nusaybah told the BBC: "His wording was, 'They are bugging me - they won't leave me alone.'
"He mentioned initially they wanted to ask him if he knew certain individuals.
"But after him saying that he didn't know these individuals, what he said was they asked him if he would be interested in working for them.
"He was explicit in that he refused to work for them but he did confirm he didn't know the individuals."
Following the interview Nusaybah himself was arrested at the BBC in relation to terrorism offences.
The Metropolitan Police said a 31-year-old man was arrested in relation to terrorism offences and search warrants were executed at two addresses in east London.
He was held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and is being held in custody at a south London police station.
The arrest was not directly linked to Drummer Rigby's death, the Met said.