London attack suspect's friend claims British intelligence tried to recruit him

A police officer stands guard outside the Woolwich Barracks in London May 24, 2013, in response to the bloody attack when a British soldier was killed in the nearby street.
AP Photo

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(CBS News) Long before he showed up with blood-soaked hands moments after the murder of a British solider, intelligence agents had their eye on Michael Adebolajo.

Adebolajo is the apparent Islamic militant who is accused of murdering Lee Rigby in broad daylight in South East London on Wednesday.

Many are asking how two apparent extremists accused of such a gruesome attack were able to slip through the hands of the British intelligence services.


They're also questioning the astonishing claim that agents actually tried to recruit one of the men six months ago.

For Charlie D'Agata's full report, watch the video in the player at left.

A childhood friend, Abu Nusaybah, said Adebolajo told him intelligence agents offered him a job.

Nusaybah said that his friend told him that "They're bugging me. They just keep- they won't leave me alone, basically."

He said Adebolajo repeatedly rejected the request.

Second London terror suspect identified

"He mentioned that initially they wanted to ask him whether he knew certain individuals. That was the initial issue. But after him saying he didn't know these individuals and so forth, what he said was they asked him if he'd be interested in working for them," he said.

In another twist, right after that interview at the BBC, Nusaybah himself was arrested in relation to terrorism offenses.

Britain is still reeling from the brutal attack and dramatic takedown of the suspects in broad daylight in south London.

London investigators grapple with unprecedented, gruesome terror tactics

There's been an outpouring of grief at the murder of 25-year-old Rigby, the father of a 2-year-old son. British television has even been showing footage of Rigby on active duty in Afghanistan.

During Friday prayers, Muslims gathered at local mosques and expressed their anguish at the attack.

"We condemn very strongly, in the strongest terms possible, and we are very sorry," said Asad Egeh of the Greenwich Islamic Center.