Posted by News Express | 25 May 2013 | 6,931 times
For the first time, a face has been put to the name of one of the parents of the two radicalised Muslim converts of Nigerian descent who butchered an innocent soldier in Woolwich, South East London, on Wednesday.
Juliet Obasuyi, 43-year-old and mother of Michael Adebowale, “tried to prevent radicalisation” and desperately sought to turn him away from extremism but “could not get through,” according to friends quoted today by The Telegraph.
Michael Adebowale, the 22-year-old son of a Christian probation officer and a member of staff at the Nigerian High Commission, was filmed holding a bloodied cleaver in his hand after Drummer Lee Rigby was butchered in a London street in broad daylight.
“His mother Juliet Obasuyi, a 43-year-old probation officer, went to her friend and neighbour, a 62-year-old security officer, for help about nine months ago after her son dropped out of university,” Telegraph reported.
The paper said she told the neighbour: “Michael is not listening any more. His older sister is a good Christian with a degree but Michael is rebelling as he has no father figure, dropping out of university and handing out leaflets in Woolwich town centre.
“He is from a strong Christian family but he is turning to Islam and turning against the family. He is preaching in the streets. He needs spiritual guidance before he radicalises himself.”
Another friend, Steve Adebiyi, who started a company with Mrs Obasuyi, said she was often left in tears after speaking to him on the phone. “The boy was giving the mother problems,” he said. “She said he was in with some bad group and causing a lot of trouble. They brainwashed him.”
He and Michael Adebolajo, the other suspected terrorist, are thought to have met at Greenwich University.
His mother was reportedly advised by a neighbour to take him to the head of the Woolwich mosque for spiritual guidance. He was converted to Islam by the head Imam, and taken for weeks of “further training” at a centre near Cambridge, according to the report.
However, when he returned, he was even more “radicalized” and his mother could no longer “get through to him,” the report said.
The heart-broken woman subsequently returned to Nigeria, where she is now pursuing a career in politics.
Adebowale’s father, Adeniyi, was born in Nigeria but came to Britain to study at Canterbury University, according to Telegraph. “He and Mrs Obasuyi had a child, Michael, but subsequently split up,” the paper reported, adding: “His mother married twice but is now understood to be single.”
Adebowale’s father, who now works for the Nigerian High Commission in a flat just yards from Holloway prison in North London, has not been seen since his flat was raided on Thursday morning.
A neighbour said: “He has lived here for at least ten years. He is a very smart and polite man, who is known to everyone as Niyi. On Thursday morning I was woken up by the sound of banging and shouts of ‘armed police’. I looked out and police were running into Niyi’s flat.
“I then heard them shout ‘No firearms and No drugs’. I have got no idea what happened to Niyi, but I haven’t seen him since.
“It came as a big shock because he is a professional man who works at the Nigerian High Commission. He leaves everyday in a collar and tie and does not get home until about 8pm.”
•Photo, courtesy Telegraph, shows Michael Adebowale’s mother, Juliet Obasuyi. On the left is Michael shortly after killing Lee Rigby.
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