By Costas Pitas and Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Two British Muslim converts were found guilty of murder on Thursday for hacking a soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street in a gruesome killing that horrified the nation. The murder, its impact magnified by video footage showing the culprits with blood-soaked hands explaining their actions, provoked a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in Britain, anti-Islamist street protests and government promises of tougher action on radical Islamist preachers. British spy chiefs are facing questions over whether they could have prevented the attack on Drummer Lee Rigby, charges that echo previous criticisms of the security services. A jury at London's Old Bailey criminal court took about 90 minutes to unanimously find Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, guilty of murdering Rigby, 25, an Afghan war veteran, near an army barracks in Woolwich on May 22.
By Michael Holden, Costas Pitas and Drazen Jorgic LONDON/MOMBASA (Reuters) - Like many teenage boys growing up in soccer-obsessed Britain, Michael Adebolajo enjoyed kicking a ball around the school yard. Those who knew him then say he was just a regular lad: not the next David Beckham, nor bottom of the class. On Thursday Adebolajo, a 29-year-old convert to Islam, and a second man, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, were convicted of murdering off-duty soldier Lee Rigby in daylight on a street in Woolwich, southeast London, in May. Their guilt had hardly been in doubt. One of them happens to be British military and, unfortunately, the war continues to this day." Adebolajo, a father of six, described in a police interview played to the court how he hacked at the soldier's neck after he and Adebowale ran the soldier over in their car.