UK & World News

  • 20 December 2013, 1:05

Rigby Killers Tried To Buy Gangster's Bullets

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale both tried to buy bullets from a London gangster just days before the killing of Lee Rigby, Sky News can reveal.

The man they approached asking for .38 calibre ammunition has spoken of his shock at what happened and his relief that he did not contribute to the attack.

He also revealed how Adebowale suddenly became furious at not being addressed by his adopted Islamic name.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the now former gang member told Sky News the two men approached him in Greenwich, southeast London.

"They came over to me and a couple of my friends - we know them anyway so it was 'hello, hello' - and they asked us for some bullets. They especially asked for .38 (calibre) bullets."

He said he was surprised by the request: "I was like, whoah! What do they need it for ? have they got a beef with some people? Do they have some people after them or something? Have they done something wrong with people, do they need protection?

"Truthfully they weren't getting into it or telling us what was wrong. They just wanted the bullets and that was it."

The bullets would have cost between 10 and 20, but the dealer never got back to them and only realised what they had done when he saw news reports of the attack outside Woolwich barracks.

He added: "In a way I'm a bit happy that I didn't get myself or my friends didn't get themselves involved in trying to get them anything."

The firearm used by Adebolajo and Adebowale in the attack was a 1920s handgun which in the end was unloaded - something onlookers didn't know.

In court Adebolajo had claimed that he had tried to buy bullets alone - but the source spoken to by Sky News insists Adebowale was there and was the one who was "on edge" as they were negotiating.

"When he was leaving, we said 'later Michael'. He then switched straight away, it was random.

"He said 'Don't call me that, don't f***ing call me that, don't f***ing call me that again, my name is Ismail'.

"And everyone was, like 'OK, OK', and he left. So yeah, definitely split personality."

The former gang member is also Muslim.

He has tried to understand how the pair were radicalised and believes they were led astray by others.

"They weren't born into it and when they were converted into it they were trying to impress certain people and went to the radical side, thinking it was all right, and that led to them being brainwashed."

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