« L’agent de renseignement est parfois “contraint” d’inciter des actes répréhensibles ou réprouvés par la morale des “honnêtes” gens. La finalité de la mission censée représenter des intérêts supérieurs fait qu’il n’hésite pas à employer la ruse pour parvenir à ses fins, mais cela ne saurait suffire. »
Gérard Desmaretz, Le Renseignement humain : infiltration, recrutement, empiégeage, manipulation, trahison, 2006, p. 255
Evidence emerged last night that one of the suspects involved in the killing of the British soldier Lee Rigby was well known to anti-terror police and the security services for at least three years before the brutal Woolwich attack. Michael Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya under suspicion of being at the centre of an al-Qa’ida-inspired plot in 2010, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
He was one of seven men arrested by Kenyan police after landing on an island off the Kenyan coast in November 2010. Local press reports of the arrests referred to Mr Adebolajo as a « Nigerian with a British passport » who was « suspected of masterminding the racket ». Police claimed the men were travelling to Somalia to join the ranks of the al-Shabaab terrorist group. His family claimed he was held in detention and tortured before being deported back to Britain without charge.
After the incident, members of his family said he was « pestered » by MI5 agents pressuring him to become an informant for them and infiltrate radical Islamic extremist groups. Relatives said other family members were also harassed and questioned by the UK authorities. In an exclusive interview with The IoS, Mr Adebolajo’s brother-in law claimed constant demands to get him to spy on Muslim clerics might have pushed him over the edge.
Abu Zuybyr, who is married to Mr Adebolajo’s sister, Christiana, said last night that his brother-in-law had recently been « elated » following the birth of his child. But added: « Then things became a little strange. »
Speaking from a café in the shadow of a mosque in an east Lancashire town, just before midday prayers, Mr Zuybyr said: « Why did he suddenly flip? » As family members struggled for explanations for Mr Adebolajo’s actions, they speculated that pressure from the security services to turn informer may have pushed him to act.
« That is what the [Mr Adebolajo’s] family is saying; that the secret service pushed him over the edge, » his brother-in-law claimed.
They insisted that Mr Adebolajo’s character changed markedly in 2010, after a visit to Kenya – where, they say, he had gone to study Arabic and Islam with imams in mosques in Nairobi.
But an investigation by The IoS has revealed that Mr Adebolajo – officially described as « Mr Michael Olemindis Ndemolajo » – was one of seven youths arrested by Kenyan police on suspicion of trying to join the ranks of the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia.
The young men had gone on a speedboat from Lamu island to Kizingitini, Pate island, where they were arrested by police who were waiting for them after a tip off. (…)
They were thrown in jail and « the suspect from Nigeria » accused police of torturing him, according to local reports.
« We are being tortured by the police and we haven’t eaten for two days now, » he was quoted as saying. « We have been denied the right to talk to our family members and lawyer. We are being treated as criminals and we are innocent. »
Kenyan media stated: « The Nigerian, Mr Michael Olemindis Ndemolajo, is said to have travelled from the UK to join the group. »
He was kept in jail for several days before being deported back to Britain, « after it was established that his travelling documents were genuine and that he lacked a criminal record », according to The Nation newspaper. Mr Adebolajo’s family said he had been told he would be hanged or beheaded, but after he had appeared in court he was freed to return to Britain. Relatives said they believed the release came after they had alerted local MPs and the Foreign Office. The decision has raised questions over official involvement in Mr Adebolajo’s release – and the true extent of his connections with the intelligence services since he returned home to the UK.
Mr Zuybyr claimed his brother-in-law had been tortured violently, threatened with rape and his private parts had been grabbed.
Mr Zuybyr also alleged that, when Mr Adebolajo returned to Britain, he had been pestered by MI5 about informing for them. He added that other members of the family had been quizzed about Mr Adebolajo in an effort to put pressure on him.
Mr Adebolajo’s elder brother, Jeremiah, had gone to Saudi Arabia to teach English, but had been arrested and harassed by the authorities about his brother. And Mr Zuybyr himself said that when he went to Yemen four years ago to learn Arabic with his new wife, he was rounded up and questioned at gunpoint.
He added: « When I came back to Britain, MI5 contacted me and showed significant interest in Michael. I was harassed for a while, with constant calls from people claiming to be from the FBI. » Mr Zuybyr and his wife left their family in London and moved to east Lancashire, but he said MI5 had still tracked him down and questioned him about his brother-in-law. (…)
Presse poussée à bout (Paul Cahalan, Independent on Sunday, 26 mai 2013)