Four Years After Lee Rigby’s Murder, Online Radicalization, Vehicle Attacks Still Plague U.K.

U.K. Lawmakers Lash Out at Social Media Company Inaction, Threaten Fines

(New York, NY) –- Four years after British soldier Lee Rigby was rammed with a car and then brutally hacked to death, the plague of online radicalization and vehicle attacks continues to haunt the U.K., the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said today.

On May 22, 2013, two British-born Islamic converts—Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale—used a car to ram into Rigby before killing him with knives and a meat cleaver. The attack was one of the first documented vehicular terrorist attacks in the West. It was later revealed that the attackers, both converts to Islam, were among many inspired by the radicalizing online sermons of al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Hamas have called for the use of cars and trucks as weapons of terror. On March 22, Khalid Masood became the latest to respond, killing five people and wounding 50 more during a vehicle and stabbing attack that began on the Westminster Bridge in London. As hundreds of British citizens who left the U.K. to fight with extremist groups return, it is clear that the threat posed by Islamist extremism—fueled by online, violent propaganda—continues. In a May 1 report, frustrated U.K. lawmakers said tech firms are “shamefully far” from taking action to tackle illegal and dangerous content, and suggested that stiff fines be imposed.

To view the resource, Murder of Lee Rigby, please click here.

To view the report, Vehicles as Weapons of Terror, please click here.

To view the report, Anwar al-Awlaki’s Ties to Extremists, please click here

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Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On February 4, 2020, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants launched a missile attack in Afrin, northwestern Syria. The missiles targeted two schools and a mosque, killing one and wounding seven others.   

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