Woolwich: ex-MI5 chief warns public 'enemy is everywhere'
Stella Rimington's 'eyes and ears' call comes as tensions rise in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby's killing
THE FORMER head of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, has called on the public to act as the "eyes and ears" of the security service in the wake of the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby by alleged Islamic extremists. Meanwhile, a tenth person has been arrested over the killing in Woolwich last Wednesday. These are the main developments over the Bank holiday weekend:
Public duty to help: Rimington urged the public to inform the security services if they suspect their neighbours are terrorists, saying "the enemy is everywhere". She also backed Conservative plans to give police and intelligence agencies the ability to track who speaks to whom on the internet, through the so-called 'snoopers' charter', reports the Daily Telegraph.
Memorials vandalised: Two war memorials in central London, one for RAF bomber command members who died during World War II and another for animals who died during the war, have been attacked by vandals. Both were daubed with graffiti reading 'Islam'.
Mosques attacked: Across the country at least 10 mosques have been attacked. In Grimsby, a young family had a lucky escape after the Islamic Cultural Centre they were in was firebombed. Yesterday, the far-right English Defence League (EDL) marched outside Downing Street chanting "Muslim killers off our streets".
Prison guard kidnapped: Parviz Khan, an Islamic extremist jailed in 2008 over a plot to behead a soldier, last night kidnapped and attacked a prison guard, the Daily Mirror reports. The guard was locked in a cleaning room in Full Sutton prison for five hours with Khan and two accomplices until he was rescued by a specialist riot squad. The gang beat the guard with mop handles, threatened to pour toilet cleaner in his eyes and told him he would die. The brutal attack came after a prison imam asked inmates to pray for Drummer Lee Rigby.
Ten arrested: Scotland Yard yesterday made its tenth arrest since Rigby was butchered to death in broad daylight in Woolwich, south London. Seven men, all in their 20s, have been arrested and bailed on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. Two women, thought to be lovers of suspects Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been released without charge. Police are continuing to question a 50-year-old man arrested in south east London yesterday, the BBC notes.
Adebowale's school play: Michael Adebowale co-wrote a play for his GCSE coursework six years ago in which his character was arrested by police while carrying a gun, a former classmate has told the Daily Telegraph. The classmate added that Adebowale used to do "weird things" and "there was something wrong about him", saying: "I used to laugh it off. I never knew I was laughing off something this big."
Proposed TV ban on extremists: Former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw has warned that banning extremist preachers from our TV screens would act as a "recruiting sergeant" for fanatics. "One of the most intolerant and least successful measures that the Conservative government introduced was a decision to ban the IRA people from the airwaves [in the 1980s]. Actors had to do it", he told an audience at the Hay festival. "The point about living in a democracy is that you have to put up with people expressing views you really disagree with."